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What’s happening in the world of local government this week? – 03.04.24


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We’ve compiled together some of the most interesting, newsworthy stories of the last week from the local government sector worldwide. We’re just trialling this service out for now, so let us know what you think in the comments below:

Café Race returns to Paris after 13 years

The Course des Cafés, a race that pits waiters against each other, has been revived by the City of Paris after a 13-year absence. Some 300 entrants were tasked with covering a 2-kilometre lap of the city centre carrying a tray bearing a cup of coffee, a croissant and a glass of water, all while dressed in traditional serving outfits. The winner managed a time of 13 minutes and 30 seconds without dropping a single dish en route. The race, which was first run in 1914, was revived this year to promote Paris’ service culture ahead of the upcoming Olympic Games.

40 major mayors demand climate finance reform

The leaders of 40 municipalities from across the globe, including the mayors of London, Barcelona, Tokyo, Sydney, Rio De Janeiro, Istanbul, Rome, Lagos and other cities, have signed an open letter demanding improvements to climate finance accessibility for local government. Mayors want multilateral development banks, which link national governments with private financing, to include urban climate action in their strategies and include cities in their plans. The letter comes in advance of COP29, which the cities refer to as the “Climate Finance COP”.

Free library access for Amsterdam residents aged 27 and under

The City of Amsterdam has announced plans to raise the age limit granting free access to its public libraries from 18 to 27, as part of efforts to improve general reading and language skills among its young citizens. In addition, library services will become free of charge for all teachers in the city. The city is planning to reinvent its libraries into places for personal development, as well as cultural and educational centres that help bridge various societal gaps.
The Mayor

Belgian city trials filling tram tracks to improve cyclists’ safety

One downside to having trams operate in your city is the risk of cyclists getting stuck in the tracks from time to time. With this in mind, the City of Ghent and the Flemish public transport operator De Lijn have partnered for a new trial that partially fills tram tracks to allow the safe passage of both bicycles and trams. The trial, to take place at two tram spots in the city, half-fills tracks so as not to disturb tram wheels, and is currently analysing the impact on passing cyclists.
The Mayor

New advanced smart city screen to launch in Sunderland

The City of Sunderland is set to install one of the UK’s largest immersive screens, designed to provide engaging, connective experiences to the local community. The Sunderland Pavilion, a temporary structure made of glass and panels, will make use of the smart city’s digital infrastructure when it opens to visitors in the summer. It will offer an exhibition area, a viewing platform, and other displays and installations. The building has the capability to live stream content from anywhere in the world via 5G and offers special panels and cameras that offer a 3D effect to passers-by.
Smart Cities World

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