Argus Leader: South Dakota mayors ask citizens to do their part against COVID-19

Argus Leader: South Dakota mayors ask citizens to do their part against COVID-19. “The mayors of South Dakota’s largest cities have written an open letter to the citizens of the state, asking that they do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. The letter, signed by 16 mayors including Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken and released through the South Dakota Municipal League, says they ‘have come together to bring you a united message concerning the COVID pandemic in our state.'”

WBEZ: COVID-19 Is Changing The Way Some Planners Think About How To Design And Develop Cities

WBEZ: COVID-19 Is Changing The Way Some Planners Think About How To Design And Develop Cities. “Cities around the world want to reimagine how businesses rebound amid economic devastation and find a way for society to go car-free. Urbanism in the time of coronavirus is a hot Twitter topic among urbanists. For others, the elite nature of who cities serve could change with the pandemic, opening up conversations around equity, say some experts.”

NBC News: Mayor of Tennessee city that hosts Bonnaroo dies of Covid-19 at 79

NBC News: Mayor of Tennessee city that hosts Bonnaroo dies of Covid-19 at 79. “The mayor of a small town in Tennessee that hosts the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival died Monday of Covid-19, officials said. He was 79…. Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman was hospitalized earlier this month before dying ‘after a valiant fight against COVID-19,’ the city said in a Facebook post Monday.”

University of Utah: The rise of ‘Zoom Towns’ in the rural west

University of Utah: The rise of ‘Zoom Towns’ in the rural west. “When COVID-19 hit the United States, small towns near ski areas such as Park City, Utah, and Sun Valley, Idaho, experienced some of the highest per capita cases; people from around the world had brought the virus along with their skis. As the coronavirus spread, gateway communities—communities near scenic public lands, national parks, and other outdoor recreational amenities—felt acute economic pressure as the virus forced them to shut down tourist activities. Now, many gateway communities are facing an entirely new problem: a flood of remote workers fleeing big cities to ride out the pandemic, perhaps permanently.”

New York Post: NYC to pay school bus companies $106M for COVID-19 idling

New York Post: NYC to pay school bus companies $106M for COVID-19 idling. “The city will pay school bus companies $106 million for two of the months in which they stood idle during the COVID-19 shutdown, officials told The Post. And in a massive new deal, the cash-strapped city will be on the hook to pay bus companies at least 43% of their contracts through 2025 if schools close for more than five days in a row.”

TIME: ‘Cancel Rent’ Has Become a Rallying Cry for Cash-Strapped Americans. Here’s Why It Hasn’t Yet Worked in The U.S. City That Championed It

TIME: ‘Cancel Rent’ Has Become a Rallying Cry for Cash-Strapped Americans. Here’s Why It Hasn’t Yet Worked in The U.S. City That Championed It. ” Though throngs of renters from Philadelphia to the Bay Area have abstained from paying rent on an individual basis, culminating in what is probably the largest rent strike in U.S. history, cities and states have so far refused to make the practice legal. Ithaca’s attempt to do so—and its failure to actually implement it so far—illustrates the limited capability municipalities have in responding to economic crises: While the federal government can take on substantial debts to facilitate significant emergency relief efforts, cities and most states are required to maintain balanced budgets.”

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. ”

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.”

PR Newswire: New COVID-19 Policy Mapping Tool and Database Released to Help Inform Decision Making (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: New COVID-19 Policy Mapping Tool and Database Released to Help Inform Decision Making (PRESS RELEASE). “Amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and in anticipation of outbreaks intensifying over the summer, the experts behind COVID-Local.org have launched a new policy mapping tool and comprehensive database. The tool allows community and national leaders to measure their phased reopening and ongoing local disease spread against the impact of specific policies—like social distancing, wearing masks or limiting crowd size—on suppressing COVID-19 across the United States and around the world.”

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.”

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.”