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.”

The Next Web: Coronavirus has changed travel in European cities for good — here’s how

The Next Web: Coronavirus has changed travel in European cities for good — here’s how . “At a recent Cities Today Institute roundtable, cities across Europe told a consistent story – public transport ridership is down between 60 and 90 percent on pre-coronavirus levels and capacity is reduced due to social distancing, while private car usage is beginning to climb once again. With revenues from media, parking and other taxes also slashed, this is adding up to a perfect storm of looming congestion and decimated budgets.”

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.”

New Jersey Institute of Technology: AI Software Will Help Regional Planners Build Sidewalks Database

New Jersey Institute of Technology: AI Software Will Help Regional Planners Build Sidewalks Database. “Community and urban planners throughout North Jersey will soon have a thorough digital inventory of their sidewalks, based on a unique use of geospatial intelligence software led by Ying Wu College of Computing Associate Professor Xinyue Ye and his Ph.D. student Huan Ning, on behalf of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA). Planners can use such databases to help guide their decisions about where and how to invest in construction and infrastructure projects.”

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: Google Street View Derived Built Environment Indicators and Associations with State-Level Obesity, Physical Activity, and Chronic Disease Mortality in the United States

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: Google Street View Derived Built Environment Indicators and Associations with State-Level Obesity, Physical Activity, and Chronic Disease Mortality in the United States. “We utilized 31,247,167 images collected from Google Street View to create indicators for neighborhood built environment characteristics using deep learning techniques. Adjusted linear regression models were used to estimate the associations between aggregated built environment indicators and state level health outcomes. Our results indicated that the presence of a crosswalk was associated with reductions in obesity and premature mortality. Visible wires were associated with increased obesity, decreased physical activity, and increases in premature mortality, diabetes mortality, and cardiovascular mortality (however, these results were not significant). Non-single family homes were associated with decreased diabetes and premature mortality, as well as increased physical activity and park and recreational access. Single-lane roads were associated with increased obesity and decreased park access.”

Pop-up bike lanes and grassroots playgrounds: How COVID-19 will change cities (Phys .org)

Phys .org: Pop-up bike lanes and grassroots playgrounds: How COVID-19 will change cities. “Kottbusser Damm is just one of more than a dozen streets in Berlin where authorities have installed ‘pop-up bike lanes’—or ‘corona bike lanes,’ as locals are already calling them—in the last two weeks. The idea is to give pedestrians and cyclists a way to commute and exercise safely from both cars and possible infection by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Berlin’s far from alone. Other German cities, including Stuttgart and Essen, are setting aside space for cyclists too. In Milan, city officials announced that 22 miles of streets in the city center will be re-engineered to make them safer for cyclists and pedestrians as restrictions on movement start to lift. And in Brussels, authorities are moving quickly to transform 25 miles of car lanes into bike lanes.”

Next City: How Fear of Cities Can Blind Us From Solutions to COVID-19

Next City: How Fear of Cities Can Blind Us From Solutions to COVID-19. “There are three natural enemies of urbanism: crime, terrorism, and pandemics. In the 1970s and 1980s, crime seemed like an existential threat to American cities. In the 2000s, it was terrorism. And today it’s pandemics, as COVID-19 sweeps across the country’s dense urban areas. For many, all three cases provoke a fear of cities, especially the dense clustering of diverse populations. This fear can prevent decision-makers from understanding and implementing solutions to those problems.”

Engadget: Toronto rejects some of Sidewalk Labs’ smart neighborhood ideas

Engadget: Toronto rejects some of Sidewalk Labs’ smart neighborhood ideas. “Sidewalk Labs will have to cede a little more ground on its vision for Quayside, a planned smart neighborhood in Toronto. The company, which is owned by Google-parent Alphabet, published a draft version of its Master Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP) last June.”

UN Environment Programme: New toolkit to help countries switch to climate-smart urbanization

UN Environment Programme: New toolkit to help countries switch to climate-smart urbanization . “The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat, and the Commonwealth Secretariat, in collaboration with several United Nations entities, have developed a law and climate change toolkit to promote climate-smart urbanization.”

Facilities Management Journal: UKGBC launches catalogue of net zero case studies

Facilities Management Journal: UKGBC launches catalogue of net zero case studies. UKGBC is the UK Green Building Council.. “The catalogue aims to provide organisations with practical examples of the methods needed to encourage and deliver a net zero carbon built environment, across a wide variety of building types. The projects featured demonstrate innovative approaches to addressing specific elements of the framework, such as minimising in-use energy performance or whole life carbon, alongside a range of advanced technologies.”

Route Fifty: Using Data to Ensure Equitable Funding for Parks

Route Fifty: Using Data to Ensure Equitable Funding for Parks. “Tactics vary from place to place, but each municipality highlighted in the report relied on data to make impartial decisions about funding. During the budget process in Detroit, for example, city officials use multiple data points—including housing prices, rates of childhood obesity, minority households, foreclosure rates and high rates of violent crime—to identify parks in every corner of the city that haven’t seen capital improvements in years, sometimes decades.”

University of Oregon: Urbanism Next launches the NEXUS online clearinghouse

University of Oregon: Urbanism Next launches the NEXUS online clearinghouse. “Created by the UO’s Urbanism Next Center in partnership with NUMO Alliance, NEXUS is a comprehensive, vetted source of information that explores the potential effects of innovations such as new mobility, autonomous vehicles and the rise of e-commerce. Going beyond the technologies themselves, NEXUS sheds light on possible long-term and compounding influences of these technologies on cities and communities.”

The Architect’s Newspaper: Sidewalk Labs is using machine learning to make neighborhood design smoother

The Architect’s Newspaper: Sidewalk Labs is using machine learning to make neighborhood design smoother. “Sidewalk Labs, the Alphabet subsidiary focused on urban technology, has been working on a new software tool for generating optimized city layouts. In an effort to combat the disconnect between various stakeholders in the urban planning process—architects, planners, engineers, and real estate developers—and their software, product manager Violet Whitney and designer Brian Ho have created a new computational tool that analyzes a wide array of data to automatically create thousands, or millions, of neighborhood layouts from a baseline design.”

D.C. Policy Center: New database of D.C. Planned Unit Developments (PUDs)

D.C. Policy Center: New database of D.C. Planned Unit Developments (PUDs). “D.C.’s Planned Unit Development (PUD) process allows developers to gain additional height and density for a project (beyond what they could build matter of right) in exchange for delivering additional public benefits back to the community…. The data covers the 82 PUDs negotiated from 2010 through 2018. For each PUD, the database includes basic information such as the name, case number, and a link to the original PUD, along with information about housing units, share of units that are affordable (and at what levels), parking information, and the recorded costs of the community benefit agreement line items.”

SmartCitiesWorld: Sidewalk Labs to launch tool for designing the neighbourhoods of the future

SmartCitiesWorld: Sidewalk Labs to launch tool for designing the neighbourhoods of the future. “Sidewalk Labs has announced a new generative design tool that uses machine learning and computational design to generate ‘millions of comprehensive planning scenarios’. The Alphabet company’s product manager, Violet Whitney, and designer Brian Ho are developing the tool to help planning teams to fully evaluate and understand all the options available to them. The aim is for planners, architects and developers to make choices that best reflect local priorities.”