Summary of “Coming soon to the Uber app: bikes, rental cars, and public transportation”

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is in Washington, DC today to make a wide-ranging announcement on Uber’s plans to integrate a variety of new transportation options to its app, including bikes, car-sharing vehicles, and public transportation like buses and trains.
It’s a bold expansion into new modes of transportation for a company that is still trying to shake its reputation for rule-breaking and only a few weeks ago suffered one of its worst setbacks to date after an Uber self-driving car killed a pedestrian in Arizona.
Today’s announcement is the next step in his plan to transform Uber from a mere ride-sharing company into a global marketplace for transportation.
Coming fast on the heels of the Jump acquisition, Uber announced today that Washington residents could now reserve and pay for Jump bikes using Uber’s app.
Uber Rent will only be available in San Francisco to start out, but if all goes well, it could eventually find its way into other cities served by Getaround such as Boston, New Jersey, Portland, and Washington, DC, said Sam Zaid, the company’s CEO. That said, Zaid doesn’t see this collaboration with Uber as an audition for an eventual acquisition, la Jump.
Uber says it’s committed to providing further links to public transit.
It will likely work much like Masabi’s partnership with Transit, a popular public transportation app in the US, in which users are able to browse fare types, make payments, and receive mobile tickets – all within the same app they use to hail Uber cars.
More locally, Uber is teaming up with the city of Washington, DC and SharedStreets, a nonprofit collaboration between the National Association of City Transportation Officials and the Open Transport Partnership, to compile and analyze data on curb usage in Washington, DC. Uber will share its data on popular curbs for ride-hailing pickups and drop-offs in the city in the hopes of convincing officials to designate more space for ride-hailing services like Uber.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The struggle for Melbourne: has the world’s ‘most liveable’ city lost its way?”

For a city weighed down by its gong as the “World’s most liveable city” for seven years straight, it’s uneasy about where it’s going, uncertain whether it wants to be a global megacity doubling its population to eight million by midcentury, or hang on to its charms.
The city has been through many booms and busts since its European foundation in 1835 but, as urban historian Graeme Davison puts it, one of the threads through its history has been a quaint sense of civic values; an idea of a shared purpose beyond commerce and getting ahead. Davison is the author of The Rise and Fall of Marvellous Melbourne, chronicling the heady days after the Gold Rush in the 1850s.
Davison says the city has always been a pragmatic, commercial place – it was settled by land speculators, after all – but from its earliest days Melbourne had a strong streak of public benevolence.
Melbourne is in now in another people boom, with around 120,000 new residents settling in the city each year, and record immigration from China and India.
If we keep going with city rents and prices the way we are, we’ll end up in a city where only the very rich will be able to live.
“If we keep going with city rents and prices the way we are, we’ll end up in a city where only the very rich will be able to live,” says Independent mayoral candidate Sally Warhaft.
“Davison has no problem with areas being earmarked for fast growth, but fears that what is being lost is Melbourne’s character: its sense of connectedness, of civic good. More prosaically, Melbourne is one of the lowest-density cities in the world – a great sprawling place. Davison says that it might seem an outdated, 20th-century notion now, but putting space between people made city living less irritating and more comfortable.”
Does Melbourne want to be a city of eight million people? If so, will it lose its connectedness, its civic values, of common purpose? Does it have a choice?

The orginal article.

Summary of “US States & Cities That Will Pay You to Move There”

The Charm City seriously wants to give you thousands of dollars to buy a house there.
You already know Baltimore for the plucky drug dealers, puritanical police, functional City Hall, and definitely-not-failing public schools that made The Wire such a barrel of laughs.
You also should know it as a rising arts and tech hub that is attracting droves of college grads – that population went up 32% in B’more from 2000 to 2012.
Like other Rust Belt cities, the overall population of Baltimore has steadily eroded in recent decades.
Sweet, sweet houses, at fractions of the prices you’d pay elsewhere in the region.
“We often hear from people now who are very young,” says Annie Milli, the executive director of Live Baltimore, a group that aims to get people to buy homes in Baltimore.
“They’re interesting customers that are really pursuing their passions, finding these incentives, getting a roommate, living for little, and accessing the great amenities we have to offer.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Brooklyn Sees in Buffalo”

“I’ve never been there,” she added, but her boyfriend, a butcher’s apprentice, was introducing her to his family in Buffalo in two weeks.
“To the extent that anyone thinks about Buffalo, they think about Niagara Falls.”
“So we felt like it was a good look to widen our lens a bit. Buffalo’s got a great music scene, and a passionate population.”
At the event, a woman from Tennessee and a man from Long Island got up onstage to spin a raffle wheel in front of a video montage of recycled Buffalo Bills games.
“Buffalonians love Buffalo food. All you’ve got to do is post a picture on Facebook, and everyone goes bonkers. You’ll get ninety comments from Buffalonians. ‘What did you have, how did you have it? What toppings?'”.
Her husband jumped in to explain that, really, fitting in in Buffalo is not as complicated as this recipe might suggest.
A seated couple, from Hell’s Kitchen, considered what it is about Buffalo that appeals.
“They would not have done that in a Buffalo bar,” a University of Buffalo graduate said to her boyfriend.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Urbanist Lessons From the Densest Neighborhoods Across Europe”

Examine the densest areas in each country and you’ll find some striking trends: Many were built in the same era for the same reasons, but their current popularity is a far cry from where they began.
Look to the densest urban areas in each European country and you’ll see a more complex, ambivalent picture of how they came to be.
This, to be clear, is a list of the densest area in each country, rather than a simple list of the densest areas in Europe, based on 2011 population data.
Among Western European countries, only Greece and Iceland built their densest areas after the First World War.
Eight of these densest areas stem from this period-all of which were initially built for the working and lower middle class.
These new neighborhoods had to be close to industrial areas or city cores, they had to have a large number of units and-with few exceptions-they had to be cheap.
Densely populated areas in many northern European cities have notably broader streets.
“You could have a single bed rented out in three daily shifts.” The process of thinning these areas out and adding amenities was a slow one that unfolded across the 20th century.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Chicago’s Awful Divide”

The disconnect is why Andrew Diamond, the author of Chicago on the Make, has called Chicago “a combination of Manhattan smashed against Detroit.”
There were 11,646 retail jobs in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on Chicago’s near South Side in 1970, according to a report by the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Around 40 percent of black 20-to-24-year-olds in Chicago are out of work and out of school today, compared with 7 percent of white 20-to-24 year-olds in Chicago.
Murders in Chicago increased by 58 percent between 2015 and 2016, and the number of nonfatal shootings grew by 43 percent, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab.
In Chicago, unlike many global cities, the neighborhoods that struggled 30 years ago are still the neighborhoods that struggle today.
So while wealth is creeping into some poor neighborhoods in cities like New York or Los Angeles as upper-class people move back to cities, less gentrification has taken place in poor, black neighborhoods in Chicago.
In a study of Chicago published in the American Sociological Review, Sampson found that Chicago neighborhoods that were more than 40 percent black didn’t gentrify.
Dawson told me, “My mother was a big advocate of me getting out of the neighborhood.” Rather than going to his struggling neighborhood school, Dawson attended high school in the wealthy Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Cyberattack Hobbles Atlanta, and Security Experts Shudder”

Threat researchers at Dell SecureWorks, the Atlanta-based security firm helping the city respond to the ransomware attack, identified the assailants as the SamSam hacking crew, one of the more prevalent and meticulous of the dozens of active ransomware attack groups.
Dell SecureWorks and Cisco Security, which are still working to restore the city’s systems, declined to comment on the attacks, citing client confidentiality.
The SamSam group has been one of the more successful ransomware rings, experts said.
Cybersecurity experts estimate that criminals made more than $1 billion from ransomware in 2016, according to the F.B.I. Then, last May, came the largest ransomware assault recorded so far: North Korean hackers went after tens of thousands of victims in more than 70 countries around the world, forcing Britain’s public health system to reject patients, paralyzing computers at Russia’s Interior Ministry, at FedEx in the United States, and at shipping lines and telecommunications companies across Europe.
Attempted ransomware attacks against local governments in the United States have become unnervingly common.
Experts said government officials needed to be more aggressive about preventive measures, like training employees to spot and sidestep “Phishing” attempts meant to trick them into opening the digital door for ransomware.
During the ransomware attack, local leaders have sometimes been able to do little but chuckle at a predicament that was forcing the city to turn the clock back decades.
Security researchers trying to combat ransomware have noticed a pattern in SamSam’s attacks this year: Some of the biggest have occurred around the 20th of the month.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Death in Wilmington”

New Castle County, which includes Wilmington and its suburbs, is nearly two-thirds white; the city of Wilmington, on the other hand, was 58 percent black as of the 2010 census.
Wilmington City Council President Hanifa Shabazz told me that these factors, among others, have contributed to the spike in gun violence in Wilmington.
In December 2013 she spearheaded a unanimously passed resolution to bring in the CDC to study the crisis in Wilmington – not as a gun issue, but as a matter of public health.
These are tragically common stories, as a majority of the shootings in Wilmington go unsolved; the News Journal reported earlier this year that only 38 percent of shootings in Wilmington were cleared, as opposed to a 60 percent clearance nationally.
“If our officers were more careful [with guns], then maybe people in the city of Wilmington would be more careful with how they use guns,” she said.
According to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives statistics, 388 guns were traced and recovered in Wilmington in 2016, out of more than 1,000 in the state overall.
A majority of the illegal guns recovered in Delaware came from in-state, but 86 came from Pennsylvania, which has more relaxed gun laws and a border 15 minutes from Wilmington.
Harris spent 14 years in prison for murder before being released in 2008; after getting out, he became a community activist, working on anti-violence efforts with the group Cease Violence Wilmington and as a youth employment coordinator with an alternative discipline school in the city.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I Wanted To Love Paris, But It Didn’t Love Me”

By the time I moved to Paris, I’d resolved at least one part of me: I had decided I wanted to be a writer.
Still, I’d envisioned working on my opus in Paris, sipping cognac in my own CafĂ© de Flore or Les Deux Magots, belonging to a new, artsy expatriate coterie of Hemingways and Steins and Fitzgeralds.
Of wealthy, Jewish stock, Stacy visited Paris every year with her mother, strictly for museum and shopping purposes.
I’d scoured online forums: How to fit in, in Paris?
A year after I returned from France, several news outlets published articles about a peculiar malady known as “Paris syndrome.” This transient psychological disorder afflicts certain tourists whose quixotic notions of Paris clash, to disastrous effect, with reality.
Depending on the publication, anywhere from 12 to 20 Japanese visitors a year are diagnosed with Paris syndrome, a handful of whom even require repatriation under medical supervision.
What the journalists did not take into account is that perhaps it is indifference itself that the Japanese desire, the ability to walk the city alone without the constant reminder of their displacement; to experience the same mundane disillusionment as a visitor with green eyes or blonde hair, who holds the same unreasonable fantasies that Paris evokes in us all.
The irony is that when I visited Seoul for the first time, shortly after Paris, every Korean I encountered spoke to me in Japanese.

The orginal article.

Summary of “China’s radical plan to limit the populations of Beijing and Shanghai”

Laoximen is one of a number of neighbourhoods in Shanghai to be “Upgraded” in the city’s relentless race for modernity.
The redevelopments are a reaction to the city’s runaway growth, and key contributors to the first population falls in Shanghai and Beijing for decades.
Reducing population has been heralded as an answer to “Big city disease”, characterised by state media as an overcrowded, polluted city with too many people living in it.
“China’s government is moving people out of its top cities to its underused cities – not the likes of Shanghai or Guangzhou, but really overbuilt half-empty cities that were just projects for the construction companies to make money.”
Sassen argues that cities such as Shanghai and Beijing have been systematically making room for a “New very high-income middle class”, and pushing the lower-earning middle classes out to the edges of the city limits.
A key part of China’s plan to limit city growth involves the redistribution of populations into new urban areas, such as the Jing-Jin-Ji region outside Beijing, and the 39 square mile Xiong’an New Area, a new city district near Hebei which the government is hoping will attract tech companies.
Factories, manufacturing hubs and markets have already been relocated to Jing-Jin-Ji. But others argue that policies to decrease city populations are misguided.
Overstretched Cities is an in-depth look at how urbanisation has seen cities all over the world mushroom in size, putting new strain on infrastructure and resources – but in some cases offering hope for a more sustainable relationship with the natural world.

The orginal article.