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

International local government news 29.05.24

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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.

No grounds for complaint as Victorian council puts coffee in footpaths
In a world-first trial, Macedon Ranges Council, Victoria is testing the use of coffee grounds in its concrete footpaths as a replacement for sand. In partnership with RMIT researchers, the trial sees coffee grounds converted into biochar (a similar substance to charcoal) through high heat. As biochar, this organic waste can make concrete 30% stronger. Project leader Dr Rajeev Roychand said “sand is getting scarce over time, and this waste can replace up to 15 per cent of the sand in concrete,” reducing costs in the process.
Government News

Climate action number one priority for Euro mayors
A survey of 92 mayors across 28 European countries has found climate action remains the top priority for leaders across the continent. 67% of mayors deemed climate action as their biggest priority, more than double the next biggest challenges, including social inclusion and equity (31%) and social and affordable housing (30%). The poll was conducted by Eurocities, with secretary general André Sobczak stating ahead of the European elections that “the mayors of Europe have made it clear that a better future for the people of Europe starts in its cities. With 75 per cent of Europeans living in cities, mayors are asking the EU to invest in infrastructure that will reduce inequalities, strengthen public services and build a just, green and prosperous future for Europe.”
SmartCitiesWorld

World’s first museum of homelessness opens in London
The Museum of Homelessness has found a permanent home in Finsbury Park, London. Previously a roving exhibition for a decade, the museum outlines how homelessness can happen to anybody. It offers a blend of education, advocacy and storytelling based on the experiences of homeless people, providing an interactive experience where volunteers share stories behind items in the collection. The inaugural exhibit – How to survive the apocalypse – opened last Friday and is inspired by the idea of the permacrisis.
Bloomberg

Only tiny minority of Madrid’s short-term rentals are legal
The City of Madrid last week published new figures showing that just 1,008 of the capital’s 13,502 short-term rental apartments, only 7.5% of the total, are legal. Every one of Madrid’s 21 districts are experiencing excessive tourism. In the Centro area, more than 15% of residential properties are tourist apartments. Legal short-stay rentals require a municipal license and city authorisation based on several factors, including a double entrance and independent access from the rest of the apartment building.
El País

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