Government:

New York City passes new law to curb food waste and feed the hungry

Although we’ve placed this fact in stories before, it remains a shock every time we type it: in America, an estimated 40 percent of all food ends up in the waste bin on an annual basis, according to the National Resources Defense Council. In New York City, this statistic is particularly alarming given that there are close to 2.5 million people in the city who struggle to find food. That’s why the city has passed a new law called the Food Donation and Food Scrap Recycling Act that demands all surplus food items be donated to local food shelters. Additionally,…

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  • Inhabitat
  • Date:04/19/2019

Cities all over the world are electing bike mayors. Here’s why

When the first “bicycle mayor”–a person who serves as a connecting point between city departments, nonprofits, and other bike advocates– was chosen in Amsterdam in 2016, the idea was to help an already bike-obsessed city become even more bikeable. But the program was never intended only to be about Amsterdam. The nonprofit behind the idea aims to bring bike mayors to 200 cities by the end of 2019. The program is already in nearly 30 cities, from São Paulo to Istanbul. Each bicycle mayor focuses on the local issues that are most relevant. In Cape Town, South Africa, the city’s…

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  • Fast Company
  • Date:04/19/2019

A new mandate in Boston could lead to more protected bike lanes across America

In many European cities, bicycles are king. Bicyclists have their own lanes, they have the right of way, and the city tries to do everything they can do to support bicycle-riding. In America, it’s a much different story, with cars dominating the roads and respect for bike lanes being non-existent. But a small bike revolution is emerging out of the Boston suburb of Cambridge where a new ordinance has passed that mandates that protected cycling lanes be installed on all streets that are slated for reconstruction under existing city plans. Passed by the city council on April 8, the ordinance…

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  • CityLab
  • Date:04/17/2019

Wales becomes latest government to provide free sanitary products to women

Last week we wrote about a landmark move in Georgia where lawmakers set aside more than $1 million to provide free menstrual pads and tampons to low-income women and girls. Now just a week later, the country of Wales has followed up with another impressive proposal. The government has set up a £2.3m grant to provide free sanitary products to more than 141,000 girls in all Welsh primary and secondary schools in order to tackle period poverty—where women and girls find it too expensive to buy sanitary items. The campaigners behind the move say young women and girls find themselves…

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  • BBC
  • Date:04/15/2019

Bitcoin mining pollutes the planet. China wants to ban it altogether

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have left their mark on the world, but not in the way most people predicted. In a typical Bitcoin mining operation, powerful banks of computers are dedicated to crunching out “blockchain” numbers and processing transactions. Nearly three-quarters of cryptocurrencies are mined in China, generating anywhere up to 10 million tons of carbon dioxide. Now that China is trying to cut back on the air pollution that often seems to swallow cities, the country’s chief planning regulator has unveiled a paper with a proposal to ban Bitcoin mining, saying it has “seriously wasted resources.” China has been considering…

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  • Engadget
  • Date:04/11/2019

London just launched an ultra-low emissions zone for its city center

Global cities around the world are starting to take drastic measures to reduce road transport emissions. In New York City, a new law is being put in place that will charge drivers well over $10 to drive n the busiest parts of Manhattan to reduce congestion and lower air pollution. Meanwhile, in London, city officials will start enforcing an ultra-low emission zone known as Ulez that will impose a £12.50-a-day charge on all vehicles driving into central London, except for the cleanest cars and vans. The move is expected to reduce road transport emissions by around 45%, something mayor Sadiq…

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  • The Guardian
  • Date:04/08/2019

Chicago just elected a black woman as mayor for the very first time

The people of Chicago have spoken! Lori Lightfoot, a former lawyer and president of the Chicago Police Board, has been elected mayor of Chicago, marking the first time an openly lesbian, black woman has been elected to the position of mayor in a major US city. This is a big deal, especially considering that Chicago is home to upwards of 2.7 million people. Lightfoot’s primary proposals, according to the Chicago Tribune, include increasing access to affordable housing, creating an office of public safety to reduce crime and reform policing, and pushing through a real estate transfer tax to help combat homelessness.…

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  • Vox
  • Date:04/04/2019

Can New York City's congestion pricing plan alleviate traffic?

Talk to any New Yorker and they will tell you how bad traffic is in the city. Recently, policymakers decided to address the problem by introducing a bill that would charge vehicles over $10 to drive in the busiest parts of Manhattan. But to ensure that their congestion pricing plan is effective, lawmakers should draw lessons from other cities that have made it work. London, for example, introduced a similar policy in 2003 and since then the number of private vehicles entering central London has declined by 39 percent. An important aspect that made London’s congestion fee a success in…

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  • Fast Company
  • Date:04/03/2019

Judge restores drilling ban in Arctic

Recent decisions to reverse bans on offshore drilling in vast parts of the Arctic Ocean and dozens of canyons in the Atlantic Ocean, were received by a US District Court Judge with ‘not so fast’.  Last Friday, Judge Sharon Gleason decided to throw out the recent executive order that overturned the bans that comprised a key part of Obama’s environmental legacy, which was intended to protect polar bears, walruses, ice seals, and Alaska Native villages that depend on the animals. The reason why is because while presidents have the power under federal law to remove certain laws from development but…

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  • AP News
  • Date:04/01/2019

Singapore and Australia are drawing news laws to stop spread of fake news

The phenomenon of ‘fake news’ poses a serious threat to democracies all over the world because of its ability to significantly influence political and social trends in our societies. In an attempt to prevent such democratic disruptions, governments in the Asia Pacific region are accelerating efforts to fight malicious use of online media, unveiling laws that make it easier to target websites which enable distribution of criminal or fraudulent content. Among the countries cracking down on online media is Australia, which plans to impose tough new laws to prevent social-media platforms from being “weaponized” by terrorists and extremists. Singapore too…

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  • Bloomberg
  • Date:04/01/2019
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