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Park Avenue closes for New York City’s Annual Summer Streets Program
Every week on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. the city of Bogata, Columbia does the unthinkable — closes many of its main streets to cars. They call it Ciclovía, or Bicycle Way, the National Geographic reports, and the people of Bogata just love it. It gives everyone in the “car-choked, noise-filled, stressed-out city” a chance to enjoy the fresh air and spread out without worrying about the 1,600,000 private cars, 50,000 taxis, nine thousand buses, and half-million motorcycles getting in their way. All modes of non-motorized vehicles are welcome —bicycles, roller skates, scooters, wheelchairs, skateboards. New York City does a similar thing each summer — and in 2018, 300,000 people took advantage of it. NYC is already planning for “Summer Streets” for the first three Sundays this August when nearly 7 miles of New York City streets will be closed for events and non-motorized vehicles. The city’s Department of Transportation is looking for proposals of unique, family-friendly events and activities. If you live in New York, you have until May 3 to submit a proposal. And we know there are other cities that do the same thing so send us an email and tell us about your town’s recreational street closings!
The planet needs an optimistic woman and fortunately for us, we have a really powerful one — Christiana Figueres. After having guided the Paris Climate Accord to completion — she served as the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2010-2016 — now Figueres is trying to change the narrative around achieving a sustainable future.
North Carolina Coastal Federation has a nature-based plan for dealing with heavy rainfall that captures and filters water instead. Green infrastructure includes solutions like rain gardens, restoring wetlands, and permeable pavement. The state plan calls for comprehensive incorporation of nature-based stormwater strategies across roadways, farmland, and in new building construction.
Why This Matters: It’s not just sea-level rise that causes increased flooding and infrastructure damage: heavy rains can be just as disruptive. Using plants, dirt, and other natural ways to handle excess water is often simpler and more cost-effective than their conventional counterparts.
The world is becoming more and more like The Matrix every day, at least in one particular way: scientists have figured out how to use the human body as a battery. No, your body can’t produce enough energy to create a global simulation, but it can produce enough heat to charge wearable devices like smartwatches and implants like pacemakers.
Why This Matters: Battery production and disposal have been problematic for decades. Mining for rare earth metals like such as cadmium, mercury, lead, and lithium threatens environments and communities across the globe.
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