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


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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: 

The City of London aims to pedestrianise

The City of London is undergoing a quiet transformation, with plans to remove roadways and create wider pavements, new bike lanes, and public spaces. One significant addition made by the City of London Corporation was three new benches, solid white granite inspired by the surrounding neoclassical architecture. The addition of the benches at the busy Bank junction symbolises a shift towards pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. With cars banned from the intersection for 12 hours on weekdays, the City of London Corporation is aiming to encourage workers and visitors to take a seat and enjoy the area. By improving the City’s public spaces, the Corporation hopes it can encourage workers to come into the office. Source: CityLab

Mexico’s first low emissions zone announced

The City of Guadalajara has announced what it claims is Mexico’s first low-emission zone. Announced as part of wider efforts to curb road injuries and deaths, the low-emission zone is hoped to reduce carbon emissions. The Guadalajara Mobility and Transport department worked with C40 Cities to develop the city’s first LEZ in the historic town centre. The LEZ will cover an area of 2 square kilometres, in an area that has seen concerted measures to improve mobility, active transport infrastrucuture and urban greening over the past ten years. The city believes the project reflects a consolidated vision of a healthy, resilient, inclusive and sustainable city. Source: C40 Cities

Futureproofing Dublin via a $100m broadband rollout

Dublin is making significant progress in rolling out gigabit broadband infrastructure. The $100 million rollout seeks to address areas underserved by fibre broadband, as part of wider efforts to “futureproof” the city. Gigabit services are now available to 50,000 homes and businesses across the city, and to 100,000 overall across wider Dublin. The expansion is a collaboration between the four Dublin local authorities. Dublin lord mayor Daithí de Róiste said “we need to ensure that all of our communities have access to high-quality broadband services and are not left behind as the adoption of new technologies and digital services continue to accelerate”. Source: Smart Cities World

The Dutch neighbourhood residents are constructing for themselves

A new, under-development neighbourhood in Amsterdam features a unique twist. A large area of the Centrumeiland neighbourhood has been set aside by the City of Amsterdam for self-construction, meaning it’s up to the owners to design and build their own home once they lease the land. Centrumeiland is also designed to be car-free and sustainable, with housing plots spaced apart to leave room for greenery. A third of the island neighbourhood is already developed, with an estimated 1,500 to 1,700 homes hoped to be constructed by 2029 in total. Source: The Mayor

Marseille unlocks incentives for local carpooling

The Aix Marseille-Provence Metropolis is promoting short-distance carpooling with the “Lecovoiturage” app to ease traffic congestion during peak hours. The app offers financial incentives to drivers, paying them two euros per trip and 10 cents per kilometre per passenger for journeys over 20 kilometres. Additionally, drivers receive a 50-Euro voucher to participate and another after completing ten journeys. Passengers holding a metropolitan transport pass can ride for free for 30-kilometre journeys. This initiative aims to popularise carpooling within the metropolitan area, making it a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to public transport. Source: The Mayor

Berlin seeks to automate its U-Bahn

The City of Berlin’s public transport operator is is set to introduce semi-automatic trains across the local U-Bahn. Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe is to issue a tender later this year to begin the process of automation. The trains will run, stop, open, close and communicate with other trains via a smart systems, with a driver only required for accessibility requirements and to start the train. BVG have previously said it could transform two stations per year to operate with automatic trains, which in theory suggests a 25-year wait to fully automate just two lines. Source: The Local Germany


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