Summary of “The Sea Level Threat To Cities Depends On Where The Ice Melts”

The Sea Level Threat To Cities Depends On Where The Ice Melts – Not Just How Fast Identifying where ice melts can help cities in planning for a future with elevated sea levels.
In New York City, the sea level would be affected more by melting ice in northern Greenland than Canada.
Scientists are now finding that how much sea level rises in, say, New York City, has a lot to do with exactly where the ice is melting.
“So what happens when the ice melts,” says Larour, “Is that there is less of it, so the ocean recedes away from the mass of ice.”
Larour’s team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab has mapped how changes in these giant ice fields influence sea levels both nearby and thousands of miles away.
Larour says this is useful information: “Out of all the masses of ice around the Earth – Alaska glaciers, Greenland, Antarctica, Patagonia, Himalaya – which ones are going to be contributing to sea level in New York?”.
It turns out that in New York City, the sea level would be affected more by melting ice on the northern end of Greenland than much closer ice in southern Greenland, or even ice in Canada.
Sweet works at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is putting together a sea level rise grid for the country, one that will factor in local conditions as well as the effects of faraway melting ice.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This City Hall, brought to you by Amazon”

There’s a new wave, in which some City Halls seem willing to go beyond just throwing money at Amazon.
Called a personal income-tax diversion, the workers must still pay the full taxes, but instead of the state getting the money to use for schools, roads or whatever, Amazon would get to keep it all instead. “The result is that workers are, in effect, paying taxes to their boss,” says a report on the practice from Good Jobs First, a think tank critical of many corporate subsidies.
Such as Chula Vista, California, which offered to give Amazon 85 acres of land for free and to excuse any property taxes on HQ2 for 30 years.
Boston has offered to set up an “Amazon Task Force” of city employees working on the company’s behalf.
These would include a workforce coordinator, to help with Amazon’s employment needs, as well as a community- relations official to smooth over Amazon conflicts throughout Boston.
Fresno promises to funnel 85 percent of all taxes and fees generated by Amazon into a special fund.
The proposal shows a park with a sign: “This park brought to you by Amazon,” with the company’s smiling arrow corporate logo.
“The community fund projects would give Amazon credit for the funding of each project,” the proposal says.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Detroit: The Most Exciting City in America?”

Ford started a competition called Go Detroit Challenge, which funded six Detroit tech companies working on innovative transportation solutions including CART, a program which pairs customers, ride share companies, and grocery stores to enable low-income populations greater access to healthy food.
Grandmont-Rosedale is a diverse enclave caught in a no man’s land: far from the bustle of downtown but still within Detroit’s city limits.
The good news is that Detroiters are perhaps Detroit’s greatest asset.
In many ways, Detroit seems ideal for such an urban agricultural revolution: What better way to activate those 40 square miles of vacant lots than to turn them into farmland? If you visit the vast farmers market in Eastern Market on weekends you will find a cornucopia of local produce from some of the city’s 1,400 gardens and farms.
“Many people in this city don’t have access to fresh food. They aren’t in control of the food-delivery systems. We’re trying to hand that back to people.” As part of this hand back, D-Town has plans of opening the Detroit Food Commons, an ambitious development that will include a co-op grocery store, a community incubator kitchen and a lecture hall.
Food Field has an on-site farm stand and sells to a range of Detroit institutions including the chic Selden Standard restaurant and the Detroit Zen Center.
In Detroit – that fair city rising from the night sky – all dreams are possible.
Detroit Foundation Hotel is an upscale boutique property in the former headquarters of the Detroit Fire Department.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside the Airbnb Fight for Nashville’s Neighborhoods”

What East Nashville doesn’t have is hotels, but tourists find ample lodging in the area thanks to the explosion of short-term rentals on platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway.
What’s going on in Nashville is just one example of the battles Airbnb is now waging worldwide as local governments push back against the idea that the sharing economy must be allowed to grow completely unfettered.
Nashville’s transformation coincided with the rise of Airbnb.
Airbnb does little to ensure that its hosts are abiding by Nashville’s regulations.
James Fraser, an associate professor specializing in urban and environmental geography at Vanderbilt, is conducting a study commissioned by Airbnb on the company’s influence on long-term rental pricing in Nashville.
Whatever its findings, the presence of corporate hosts like Atlas360 on the platform undercut the company’s feel-good marketing, like a recent television ad in Nashville that highlights a lifelong city resident who’s also an Airbnb host.
Even in Nashville, Airbnb initially tried to usurp the local government’s power by lobbying for a state bill that would have restricted Nashville’s ability to regulate short-term rentals and barred the city from banning them outright.
Spanjian told me that the company wouldn’t be able to provide vital tools like the online registration system if Nashville bans non-owner-occupied rentals in neighborhoods, even though the city would still have thousands of owner-occupied rentals and apartments in need of regulation.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Best places to live in the world for expats in 2017”

InterNations recently released its 2017 list of the best cities for living and working abroad. City rankings are based on survey responses from nearly 8,000 people in 40 countries.
InterNations, an expatriate network and global guide, put together a list of the best cities for living and working abroad, according to expats they surveyed.
City rankings were determined based on the quality and cost of urban living, quality of work life and finances, and ease of settling into the city.
Here are the best overall cities for expats in 2017.
Cost of living compared with New York City: 23% lower.
Cost of living compared to New York City: 18.7% lower.
Cost of living compared with New York City: 29.7% lower.
Cost of living compared with New York City: 56.9% lower.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Is New York Full of Empty Stores?”

In his classic 1949 essay “Here Is New York,” E. B. White described the city as “a composite of tens of thousands of tiny neighborhood units,” each “Virtually self-sufficient” with shops that met most residents’ basic needs, from groceries to shoes, from newspapers to haircuts.
Every neighborhood was so complete, White wrote, “That many a New Yorker spends a lifetime within the confines of an area smaller than a country village.”
Its City Council member, Helen Rosenthal, reports that her staff recently surveyed shops along Broadway and Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues, and on some side streets.
How many $400 T-shirts does even the wealthiest New Yorker need? Boutique heaven turned into vacancy hell.
What kind of lifeline might be thrown to imperiled local businesses and their neighborhoods? One idea floated among lawmakers is to restructure the commercial rent tax, a 54-year-old levy that principally affects business tenants in Manhattan below 96th Street.
If their annual rent bill exceeds $250,000, they must pay the city 3.9 percent of it.
“The city is losing what makes it appealing, what makes it New York,” Professor Wu said.
The last thing anyone wants is a sequel to the E. B. White essay that might well be titled, “There Goes New York.”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ignored By Big Telecom, Detroit’s Marginalized Communities Are Building Their Own Internet”

Take Detroit, where 40 percent of the population has no access to the internet-of any kind, not only high speed-at home, according to the Federal Communications Commission.
“When you kind of think about all the ways the internet affects your life and how 40 percent of people in Detroit don’t have that access you can start to see how Detroit has been stuck in this economic disparity for such a long time,” Diana Nucera, director of the Detroit Community Technology Project, told me at her office.
Nucera is part of a growing cohort of Detroiters who have started a grassroots movement to close that gap, by building the internet themselves.
It’s a coalition of community members and multiple Detroit nonprofits.
They’re starting with three underserved neighborhoods, installing high speed internet that beams shared gigabit connections from an antenna on top of the tallest building on the street, and into the homes of people who have long gone without.
Because of Detroit’s economic woes, many Big Telecom companies haven’t thought it worthwhile to invest in expanding their network to these communities, Nucera told me.
Detroit’s renaissance won’t happen without each of the city’s diverse communities having access to the basic tools of modern work, education, healthcare, and communication.
All of Detroit needs access to the internet and the current structure established by Big Telecom hasn’t made this an easy goal.

The orginal article.

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I can see a speck of the ocean from my desk where I’m sitting.
I don’t know, maybe because the grass will forever be greener, I just get damn wistful when I think about living in the city-a place where I can walk to my destinations, where I can check out spoken-word events on weekdays, where there’s readily accessible takeout of every ethnic origin, where my daughter won’t spend most of her future afternoons strapped in the backseat of whichever Honda Odyssey is on carpool duty that day.
In an episode all about suburbia on truTV’s Adam Ruins Everything, investigative comedian Adam Conover adds in the fact that traffic fatalities are 270% more likely in cul-de-sacs than in grid streets, possibly because they “Lull you into a false sense of security, where the difference between sidewalk, street and driveway are blurred.”
Or as William Lucy, a University of Virginia professor, summed it up to ABC News: “Go where you think it’s unsafe and you’ll probably make a better choice.”
The city itself can be an outdoor playground where children can have daily encounters with all sorts of people.
Where should you move to? Where will you feel at home? These are complicated questions with many.
“This is the thing about living and working in a city where life happens on the street, where the people on the sidewalk are as important as the buildings that line the boulevards,” writes Sarah Goodyear on Grist.
So should you move to the suburbs when you have kids? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and I myself likely won’t be moving soon, but I’m holding onto Conover’s advice: No matter where you are, “Fix the communities you’re in.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “$300 Billion War Beneath the Street: Fighting to Replace America’s Water Pipes”

At a July convention in Denver that brought together about three dozen local legislators, Bruce Hollands, executive director of the plastic pipe industry group Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association, discussed what had gone wrong in Flint, and explained what needed to be done to open up local bidding for plastic water pipes.
Lightweight, easy to install, corrosion-free and up to 50 percent cheaper than iron, plastic pipes have already taken the place of copper as the preferred material for service lines that connect homes to municipal mains, as well as water pipes inside the home.
Scientists are just starting to understand the effect of plastic on the quality and safety of drinking water, including what sort of chemicals can leach into the water from the pipes themselves, or from surrounding groundwater contamination.
A 2013 review of research on leaching from plastic pipe identified more than 150 contaminants migrating from plastic pipes into drinking water.
At the height of Flint’s water crisis, the chief executive of one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of plastic pipes, JM Eagle, traveled to the beleaguered city and offered to replace the city’s lead pipes at no cost.
There is no federal oversight of the materials or processes used to manufacture plastic water pipes; instead, water pipes are certified and tested by an organization paid for by industry.
Officials discussed creating a pilot area using plastic to replace the service lines to houses on several city blocks, according to Plastics News, though a Flint spokeswoman, Kristin Moore, said plastic pipes were not currently under consideration.
“When you take that inherent issue that we needed to rebuild trust of the citizens in the water system, we felt that copper was the way to go,” Michael McDaniel, a retired Michigan National Guard brigadier general put in charge of replacing Flint’s water pipes, said at a conference this year.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Where the Small-Town American Dream Lives On”

Why aren’t people leaving to find work, or better lives, as they used to? Part of the worry is economic: if people become less willing to move for work, unemployment will persist in some places, and jobs will go unfilled in others.
Growing up, Joe Clarey had not liked Orange City; after he graduated from Northwestern, in 2009, he fled to Chicago, where he got a job as an analyst in a global investment firm.
What would people say, after he’d gone on and on for years about how he couldn’t wait to get out of Orange City, and after his fancy Chicago job?
If you lived in a place like Orange City you weren’t used to dealing with people you didn’t know.
People in Orange City received government assistance, but the town was small enough and prosperous enough that it was possible to imagine a world without it.
She wanted to be in a city, where the work was more intense; that choice then led her somewhere politically that she did not expect to go.
People who lived in areas where there was a lot of organizing-where there seemed to be a chance to change things-tended to stay; in places where the revolution didn’t catch on, people left.
On a previous trip home, a man had remarked to her how nice it was that they didn’t have teen pregnancies in Orange City as they did in Modesto, and she, dumbfounded, said to him, “Do you really think they’re not happening? I think people here take a different path.” After much indecision and praying she and Justin chose to move home.

The orginal article.