CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: PLACES: LOCAL DATA FOR BETTER HEALTH
The PLACES Project is a new data analysis and mapping tool that helps cities, counties, and regional health departments better understand the health of their populations. Regardless of size or urban vs. rural status, PLACES shows the geographic distribution of health-related outcomes, which means that local governments are better able to make data-driven policies and plan more effective public health interventions.
WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY: STATE ADOPTS WAYNE’S SUCCESSFUL MOBILE TESTING INNOVATION TO PROTECT MICHIGAN’S MOST VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES
As part of Michigan’s Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, the state is expanding mobile COVID-19 testing facilities that were first started by Wayne University in April 2020. Testing is offered for free, and no documentation is required to receive tests, eliminating common barriers to care that prevent lower-income and immigrant Americans from accessing services. Once the novel coronavirus vaccine is widely available, the mobile infrastructure can be used for administering vaccinations.
Lucca, an Italian city in Tuscany, has a new resident well-being initiative that revolves around furry, four-legged friends. There will be dedicated dog-walking paths, apps that show the location of dog water stations, and pet-therapy programs in schools; pets are often neglected in smart-city and urban planning, but there are numerous physical and psychological benefits of pet ownership. Depending on the success of Lucca’s initiative, planning with Fido in mind just might be the future of smart cities.
ENERGY NEWS NETWORK: IN CHICAGO, ‘CHARGING DESERTS’ PART OF RACIAL DIVIDE ON ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Unequal distribution of public charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) in Chicago both highlights and exacerbates inequalities and biases. According to data from advocates, the vast majority of charging locations are in white and affluent areas, which both discourages non-white and non-affluent Chicagoans from getting energy-efficient EVs, and perpetuates the notion that only white, wealthy individuals need these charging stations in the first place; as this article points out, this is a “chicken or egg” situation that ultimately disadvantages non-white residents and likely increases damaging fuel emissions.
Increasingly, smart cities are relying on network-connected tech devices to manage everything from traffic intersections to street lights to flood and snow sensors. But given recent security breaches and government hacks, there is a movement to better secure internet of things (IoT) devices that are used by local governments around the country. A proposed certification system would provide a cohesive standard for rating the security of these devices, and therefore better protect the public’s data.