City Monitor: NYC Street Map: A city app now lets you look at historical streets. “The Department of City Planning (DCP) has rolled out an updated version of the NYC Street Map tool, providing users with a record of not just the altered streets but also the original ones dating back to the early 20th century. The tool offers a digital compilation of the entire history of New York City’s 32,000-plus streets.”
Scroll (India): An archive project is creating a database of Indian cities in fiction – and you can contribute to it
Scroll (India): An archive project is creating a database of Indian cities in fiction – and you can contribute to it. “The Cities in Fiction project was started by researcher Divya Ravindranath and writer, editor, and translator Apoorva Saini to build a database of real-world cities in fiction… and to see how South Asia is constructed in the fictive imagination. At present, the list primarily covers India, but Ravindranath said that suggestions have been pouring in from all over South Asia since the project’s website went live.”
I am still publishing ResearchBuzz updates on Twitter but I have moved most of my “looking-for-interesting-stuff” activity to Mastodon (firstname.lastname@example.org if you care to drop by.) The Web site Geopipe ( https://www.geopipe.ai/download ) is the second RB item I’ve found on that site. It’s a company that makes digital twins of cities to be used in gaming, virtual environments, etc. At the moment they’re giving away a digital twin of New York City for free. You’ll need to register, but you can download sample models of Rockerfeller Plaza and Columbus Circle without providing any personal information. Sample models are downloadable in .fbx, .dae, and .glb formats.
PsyPost: Colorful urban environments promote wellbeing, even if they are just in virtual reality. “A new study in Frontiers in Virtual Reality tested the effects of vegetation and colorful patterns in an urban environment. Employing virtual reality, the study found that green vegetation caused volunteers to walk more slowly, while also increasing their heartrate, indicating a pleasurable experience. Meanwhile, colorful patterns increased alertness, fascination and curiosity.”
News@Northeastern: Want To Understand The Impact Of The Covid-19 Pandemic On Boston? Northeastern Researchers Have Built A Database
News@Northeastern: Want To Understand The Impact Of The Covid-19 Pandemic On Boston? Northeastern Researchers Have Built A Database. “Sudden disruptions to society were immediately apparent: School closures, business shutdowns, new—and in some cases, unprecedented—public health policies. But other pandemic impacts remain hidden, locked away in datasets and public records not yet meaningfully analyzed. The determination to uncover that data—and make it widely available—led a group of Northeastern researchers to construct a ‘data-support system’ from multiple information sources in and around the city of Boston that, when combined, paint a portrait of how communities and neighborhoods were impacted by the pandemic, with particular emphasis on communities and neighborhoods of color.”
Route Fifty: New Online Hub to Help Cities Apply for Federal Infrastructure Funding. “The Local Infrastructure Hub is bringing together public sector groups and nonprofits to help local leaders navigate the complicated Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act application process in order to win grants. Experts will provide free coaching, data analysis and support, among other things, in developing the applications.”
The Ohio State University: The deadly impact of urban streets that look like highways. “Serious auto crashes in urban areas are more likely on city streets that look to drivers like highways, new research suggests. The study used a novel approach: Ohio State University researchers applied machine learning techniques to analyze more than 240,000 images of road segments in Columbus, Ohio, taken from Google Street View. The goal was to see what the roads looked like to drivers and whether that was linked to serious and deadly crashes.”
Princeton University: What climate choices should cities make? A Princeton data tool helps planners set priorities.
Princeton University: What climate choices should cities make? A Princeton data tool helps planners set priorities.. “A new tool for city planners helps them design a portfolio of actions that encompasses compact development, smart electric mobility, electric heating systems, mass timber construction, urban reforestation, and technologies that allow resources to circulate efficiently through the food, waste and energy sectors.”
Wall Street Journal: Cities Take the Lead in Setting Rules Around How AI Is Used. “AI, at its worst, can disadvantage already marginalized groups, adding to human-driven bias in hiring, policing and other areas. And its decisions can often be opaque—making it difficult to tell how to fix that bias, as well as other problems. Cities are looking at a number of solutions to these problems. Some require disclosure when an AI model is used in decisions, while others mandate audits of algorithms, track where AI causes harm or seek public input before putting new AI systems in place.”
Route Fifty: Mayors Call on Congress to Extend Expiring Pandemic Era Food Aid. “With millions of Americans facing the possibility of getting cut off from food assistance in the coming months, mayors on Friday urged Congress to extend pandemic era aid programs designed to help ensure that people have enough to eat.”
Route Fifty: States Must Expand Data Sources for Strategic Flood Resilience. “Failure to incorporate forward-looking climate data and demographic trends will limit states’ ability to develop effective flood mitigation plans, new research finds.”