Global Climate action and sustainable development, Democracy, devolution and governance, Housing and planning, Transport and infrastructure

International local government news 22.05.24

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Here are the latest newsworthy and interesting stories from the local government sector that caught our attention. In this round-up of what’s happening right now in the world of local government, you’ll find best practices, inspiration, and more from across the sector.

Global: New ranking of 1,000 global cities released
Oxford Economics yesterday released its inaugural Global Cities Index, setting out to evaluate the world’s “1,000 largest urban economies”. Based on 27 indicators, the index ranked New York, London and San Jose, California as the world’s top cities. While the index is dominated by the US and Europe, Tokyo placed fourth, with Seoul and Singapore reaching 41 and 42 respectively. From Australia, Melbourne placed ninth, Sydney 16th, and Perth 23rd. Five broad categories are featured with different weighting; while New York placed top for economics and London top for “human capital”, Grenoble, France and Canberra placed top for quality of life, and Suva, Fiji came first for environmental factors, followed by Fortaleza, Brazil.
Bloomberg

Czech Republic: All ads ditched in Prague metro station
In a bid to recapture the public’s attention, the Prague Public Transport Company last week announced it will keep one of its metro stations advertisement free. The move is hoped to shift the focus onto the station’s original design and new features introduced following renovations last year. The impetus for ditching adverts reportedly comes from public feedback, who preferred how the station looked before billboards were put back up. The adverts are expected to be moved elsewhere to compensate for the loss of advertising space.
The Mayor

Italy: First “wind phone” in Europe lets people talk through grief
A lone phone booth on a rural farm in Tuscany doesn’t sound particularly newsworthy, but it has a unique purpose. Believed to be the first of its kind in continental Europe, the “wind phone” is an installation designed to let people “speak” to a lost loved one. Invented by a Japanese designer and picked up in various locations in North America and Ireland, the wind phone is meant as a way for people to work through their grief via a one-way conversation with someone they’ve lost. The installation has reportedly been highly appreciated by the public in recent months. It is situated atop the highest hill in the local area, to provide a panoramic backdrop and sense of privacy.
The Mayor

Climate tourist pass introduced in Seoul
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has launched an eco-friendly travel tourist card, which allow unlimited use of public transport for low cost during selected periods. The government’s Climate Card Tourist Pass is designed for international tourists and short-stay Korean visitors, and seeks to encourage greater use of public, eco-friendly transport options. The pass offers 1, 2, 3 and 5-day options, with prices ranging from 5000 KRW (£2.89) to 15,000 KRW (£8.66). The card also provides the same discounts (50%) for certain cultural facilities, such as the Seoul Science Centre and Seoul Grand Park. 
Smart Cities World

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