Barcelona, Spain is a pioneer in the smart city movement, and city officials are planning several innovative pilots for the new year. There are already six “superblocks,” which are nine regular blocks merged into one pedestrian area, but there are plans for hundreds more. There are also plans for sustainable energy pilots, new data privacy guidelines, and technological assistance for the city’s elderly.
City Lab: The Unequal Burden of Urban Lead
Lead is an extremely dangerous and highly toxic substance, and was also a foundational material for cities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, public health data and interactive mapping shows that the adverse effects of lead exposure, such as lower IQ and behavioral problems, are disproportionately affecting lower-income and minority areas.
StreetsblogUSA: Vision Zero! Norwegian Capital Completely Quashes Road Deaths
In 2019, there were no pedestrian or biker deaths in Oslo, Norway. The city achieved its Vision Zero goal through speed regulations, an expanded bike network, traffic calming in school zones, and car-free zones.
California just launched a new dashboard which contains data about police stops between July and December 2018. Users can sort through the data, glossary, and visualizations to compare and contrast police stops by different identity groups. By collecting and publicizing data, state officials hope to improve policy making, and relationships between law enforcement and minority groups.
Brooklyn Eagle: Housing Vouchers Increase Test Scores, City Study Shows
A study of New York City public school students showed a link between housing assistance and academic achievement. Using school records for more than 30,000 students in third through eighth grade, researchers found small but significant improvements in test scores after a student’s family received a federal housing program voucher.