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International local government news 30.04.24


Photo Credit: Davmi Pics via Compfight cc

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.


Italy: Daily fee for visitors introduced in Venice
In a bid to combat overtourism, Venice has introduced a new fee for day trippers, in a world first pilot measure that has resulted in local protests. Visitors who don’t live, work or study in Venice will now have to pay 5 euros should they visit Venice on one of 29 select days (mostly weekends) until mid-July. The charge is in place from 8:30am to 4pm, but doesn’t apply to people staying in hotels or registered accommodation overnight, according to mayor Luigi Brugnaro. Visitors who don’t pay the fine will be faced with charges ranging from 50 to 300 euros, with the fee payable in advance or at key arrival points, such as the Santa Lucia train station. Mayor Brugnaro said “Venice will the be first city to experiment with an access payment, even if overtourism is a problem that doesn’t just plague this city”.


France: Champs-Elysees to become giant picnic ground for a day
In what could be the biggest picnic in the world, Paris’s most famous boulevard the Champs-Elysees will be transformed for a day for a free gathering complete with a 216 metre tablecloth. On 26 May, Le Grand Pique-nique des Champs will be hosted free of charge for a brunch or lunch provided free of charge by the organisers. Nine pop-up kitchens will prepare the meals for the event, which is based on a lucky draw. Some 3,700 lucky people will be selected to attend the event.
The Mayor


Italy: Milan set to ban ice cream sales after midnight
Milan is set to ban the sale of ice cream after midnight to prevent after hours noise from late night revellers and groups. The move, which will also see other forms of takeaway food banned including bottled water, will apply to 12 of Milan’s districts. Local businesses and residents have until May 3 to voice objections or amendments to the proposal. A similar effort to ban late-night ice cream sales was overturned in 2013 following a series of protests outside the town hall.
Il Giorno


Denmark: Driverless train operations to be upgraded in Copenhagen
Implementation to the highest grade of automation is set to make Copenhagen’s 170km long S-Bane network the world’s largest automatic urban railway. Unattended train operations could commence as soon as 2030. The S-Bane system currently serves around 350,000 daily commuters, with the capacity to handle up to 84 trains per hour across 88 stations on seven lines. Jürgen Müller, director at chosen contractor DSB said “this comes not only via higher frequency for increased capacity and improved train services during off-peek operations, but also faster recovery from disturbances and better possibilities to adapt the traffic services to the demand on short term.”

Smart Cities World


UK: Health neighbourhood to be built in Newcastle
Newcastle City Council has granted outline planning permission to a first of its kind ‘health innovation neighbourhood’. Under the plans, Newcastle General Hospital will be transformed into a research and innovation hub, with an emphasis on living and ageing well. The neighbourhood will be home to 1,250 new homes, featuring a range of dwelling types, including specialist housing for people with dementia and traumatic injury, supported living units and clustered units. On top of this, the hub will be home to health facilities, academic and digital learning spaces, office space and two “sustainable transport hubs”.


Italy: Outdoor smoking restrictions implemented in Turin
Turin has implemented a new smoking ban, prohibiting people from smoking within 5 metres of another person outdoors unless they are given explicit consent. Smoking is already prohibited in indoor public spaces, and the city council has approved a new resolution, which comes with a 100 euro fine and a further restriction of smokers being forbidden from smoking outdoors in the presence of pregnant women or minors. Mayor Stefano Lo Russo called the decision “common sense”.

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