PsyPost: Colorful urban environments promote wellbeing, even if they are just in virtual reality

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

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 Conversation: How the metaverse could change the purpose and feel of cities

The Conversation: How the metaverse could change the purpose and feel of cities. “As more of our daily activities take place online, we believe it’s time to consider how this may eventually play out; if tomorrow’s city dwellers prefer the metaverse to brick-and-mortar stores and other urban amenities, what will it mean for cities and what purposes will cities ultimately serve? As professors in the departments of urban environment and digital culture we delve into this question and examine how the metaverse could profoundly change our relationships with urban spaces.”

The Ohio State University: The deadly impact of urban streets that look like highways

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

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.”

StateTech Magazine: Philadelphia Launches Smart Streetlight Pilot Program to Collect Data in Real Time

StateTech Magazine: Philadelphia Launches Smart Streetlight Pilot Program to Collect Data in Real Time. “As cities around the country seek to leverage smart technology, Philadelphia is continuing its efforts to collect data to address inequality. The city’s recently announced smart streetlight pilot is another tool employed to level the playing field for all of the city’s residents. By design, the SmartBlockPHL program uses sensors on smart streetlights to count people and objects, check air quality and monitor weather conditions. In addition, the streetlights will collect information about local pedestrian traffic, street activity and the environment.”

Associated Press: In nation at war with itself, one town tries cup of civility

Associated Press: In nation at war with itself, one town tries cup of civility. “That’s the warring America. It plays out in Washington, in decidedly uncivil town meetings across the country and over the airwaves. It infects social media, where people, by their own admission, lose their minds. There’s another, quieter, America, too. It asks about the family. It commiserates about the water bill and shoots the breeze. It’s a place where people who can be Facebook-nasty are face-to-face polite. Often it meets over coffee.”

Wired: The Pandemic Might Have Redesigned Cities Forever

Wired: The Pandemic Might Have Redesigned Cities Forever. “IT WAS EASY to find tragedy in the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic. Vaccines became widely available and proved to be remarkably effective at keeping people out of hospitals, but some people wouldn’t get their shots—mostly Republicans. Broader uptake of vaccines could have averted 163,000 deaths between June and November alone. That’s tragedy. But you could find hope in 2021, too. It was literally in the air. The virus—and specifically the understanding that as an aerosol it spread more easily in poorly ventilated spaces—changed something fundamental about urban life.”

Route Fifty: More Cities Move to Adopt Vaccine Requirements for Indoor Spaces

Route Fifty: More Cities Move to Adopt Vaccine Requirements for Indoor Spaces. “Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia are among the places that announced these types of measures in recent days. Other places, including New York City, King County, Washington, where Seattle is located, San Francisco and Los Angeles, already had requirements along these lines in place. The new mandates come as the highly contagious omicron variant of Covid-19 is surging.”