City of Chicago: City of Chicago Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Snapchat Lens Encouraging Residents to Wear Masks

City of Chicago: City of Chicago Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Snapchat Lens Encouraging Residents to Wear Masks. “The City of Chicago today launched another engagement tool to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Chicago—a Snapchat lens. The social media platform is popular amongst Millennials and Gen Zers, a demographic that has seen a recent rise in case numbers in Chicago, and which the City believes is key to stemming the virus. To encourage users to wear masks when in public, this first-of-its-kind Snapchat augmented reality lens deploys new technology that only allows the user to unlock the lens when they put on a mask.”

Northwest Florida Daily News: Does your community pass muster? New website ranks counties, cities in Florida

Northwest Florida Daily News: Does your community pass muster? New website ranks counties, cities in Florida. “A $117,000 website that grades and lets people compares cities and counties based on spending, crime and education was rolled out by the state House this week. House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, said in a press release the new Taxpayer Accountability & Transparency Project… ‘gives residents a useful tool to help them make educated judgments and hold their elected officials accountable.'”

‘We don’t have the resources:’ Small Alabama communities reeling from COVID-19 surge (WKRN)

WKRN: ‘We don’t have the resources:’ Small Alabama communities reeling from COVID-19 surge. “Small towns in Alabama are feeling the effects of COVID-19, especially in terms of revenue and the ability to provide the same level of services to citizens. In the town of Altoona, Mayor Richard Nash said he has several employees who are out with the virus or awaiting a test result.”

New York Times: Coronavirus Threatens the Luster of Superstar Cities

New York Times: Coronavirus Threatens the Luster of Superstar Cities. “The pandemic threatens the assets that make America’s most successful cities so dynamic — not only their bars, museums and theaters, but also their dense networks of innovative businesses and highly skilled workers, jumping among employers, bumping into one another, sharing ideas, powering innovation and lifting productivity.”

Exclusive: White House Privately Warns 11 Cities Must Take “Aggressive” Action Against Coronavirus (Center for Public Integrity)

Center for Public Integrity: Exclusive: White House Privately Warns 11 Cities Must Take “Aggressive” Action Against Coronavirus. “Dr. Deborah Birx, a leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, warned state and local leaders in a private phone call Wednesday that 11 major cities are seeing increases in the percentage of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 and should take ‘aggressive’ steps to mitigate their outbreaks. ”

Digital Library of Georgia: Digitization of materials documenting the beginning of Peachtree City, Georgia are now available freely online

Digital Library of Georgia: Digitization of materials documenting the beginning of Peachtree City, Georgia are now available freely online. “New online records that describe the history of Peachtree City, Georgia, one of the country’s most successful post-World War II ‘new towns,’ are now available for researchers in the Digital Library of Georgia.”

World Resources Institute: How US Cities and Counties Are Getting Renewable Energy

World Resources Institute: How US Cities and Counties Are Getting Renewable Energy. “A new tool from the American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator, the Local Government Renewables Action Tracker, showcases renewable energy deals made by U.S. cities, counties, tribal governments, municipal utilities and community choice aggregations since 2015. Cataloguing over 300 deals, the tool equips local governments with the resources to understand what other cities have accomplished, which can help as they develop their own renewable energy strategies and determine how to collaborate effectively.”

Slate: Will COVID Push People Out of Cities for Good?

Slate: Will COVID Push People Out of Cities for Good?. “Since the coronavirus shutdowns began in March, everyone’s been wondering the same thing: Are city residents really leaving? And if so, are they ever coming back? Eager journalists have rushed to quote suburban real estate brokers—which is like asking Oscar Mayer if people like hot dogs. Local TV is following families out to greener pastures, and Instagram shows a never-ending stream of vacations. To find out how many people have really left, I consulted some experts on cities and suburbs: Emily Badger of the New York Times, Natalie Moore of WBEZ Chicago, and Amanda Kolson Hurley of Bloomberg Businessweek.”

Coronavirus: How can we make post-pandemic cities smarter? (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: How can we make post-pandemic cities smarter?. “Streets have been eerily quiet in recent months as coronavirus lockdowns imposed by governments around the world hit the pause button on normal life. And while many people have missed the shops and cafes, many have also appreciated the temporary respite from noise, pollution and congestion. As cities start to wake up from the so-called anthropause, questions are being being asked about how we can improve them more permanently. And the assumptions we had about making our cities smart may also need a rethink.”

Techdirt: Boston The Latest City To Ban Facial Recognition Use By Government Agencies

Techdirt: Boston The Latest City To Ban Facial Recognition Use By Government Agencies. “San Francisco led the way. Then the entire state of California followed suit. And on the other side of the country, a few smaller cities in Massachusetts did the same thing: banned facial recognition. It just makes sense. The tech that’s out there is as dangerous as it is unproven. Mostly known for its false positive rates, facial recognition software has shown it’s capable of amplifying existing biases into actionable ‘intel’ with the power to severely disrupt people’s lives.”

The Next Web: Boston bans government use of facial recognition

The Next Web: Boston bans government use of facial recognition. “Boston City Council has voted to ban the use of facial recognition by the municipality, joining a growing list of administrations to outlaw the tech. The decision comes amid a growing backlash against the software, which research shows consistently misidentifies people of color. An MIT study found that facial recognition algorithms designed by Microsoft, IBM, and Face++ made up to 35% more errors when detecting the gender of darker-skinned women. For light-skinned men, that error rate dropped was just 1%.”

Route Fifty: Cities Brace For ‘Collision Course’ Of Heat Waves And COVID-19

Route Fifty: Cities Brace For ‘Collision Course’ Of Heat Waves And COVID-19. “Across the country, authorities are finding that their usual strategies for protecting people against heat-related health problems are in direct conflict with their strategies for containing the coronavirus.”

Cities Today: How cities are using data to plan for COVID-19

Cities Today: How cities are using data to plan for COVID-19. “Cities have long talked about making data-driven decisions and the coronavirus crisis has brought this to the fore for those responsible for data management. Chief Information Officers (CIOs) gathered at a recent Cities Today Institute digital roundtable noted the importance of data visualisation and analysis during the pandemic – both for residents and decision-makers within the city. Several also highlighted key obstacles to achieving data’s full potential in scenarios like this, and these issues will need to be addressed to boost future resilience.”

Phys .org: Researchers aim to help cities prioritize interventions for public transit

Phys .org: Researchers aim to help cities prioritize interventions for public transit. “The New York City Subway—which, under normal circumstances, serves 5.5 million riders daily—resumed service June 8, amid concerns from residents about exposing themselves to the closed, crowded conditions that could be ripe for coronavirus transmission. Researchers at Penn State aim to help minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread by identifying specific subway stations in which intervention resources—such as setting up testing sites, allocating additional personnel to disinfect frequently touched surfaces in subway stations, and distributing masks and hand sanitizer—could be of greatest benefit.”

The Atlantic: Rats Have Not Changed. We Have.

The Atlantic: Rats Have Not Changed. We Have.. “The coronavirus pandemic has upended human life in cities, which means it has also upended the habitat of city rats. In their millennia-long coexistence with humans, rats have acclimated to our changing ways of life and they are acclimating again to pandemic-stricken cities. ‘This is sort of a natural experiment,’ says Maureen Murray, a wildlife-disease ecologist at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Cities are now slowly reopening, and rats will adapt again—as they always have.”