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The Sidewalk Weekly: what we're thinking, doing, and reading about the future of cities.
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3 Feb 2017

Urbanists and technologists don't always speak the same language, but they united around a common cause this week in opposition to President Trump's executive order on immigration. Sidewalk Labs was proud to join leaders from the New York City tech community in standing up for inclusivity, diversity, and opportunity. Presidents and policies may change, but these core values of strong cities and companies shouldn't. Related reads:

  • The A-to-Z guide to Silicon Valley’s backlash against Trump’s immigration ban (Qz)
  • Tech Companies Reportedly Circulate Immigration Open Letter (Bloomberg Tech)
  • Big cities have a lot at stake in Trump’s executive order on immigration (Brookings)
  • How Trump Threatens America's Talent Edge (CityLab)
  • How Immigrants Have Made America a Leader in Technology Innovation (Chronicle of Higher Education)
  • Flush with anti-Trump donations, ACLU gets Y Combinator’s mentorship (Ars Technica)

What we're thinking

Home free: Finding an affordable apartment is a nightmare in a tough rental market like Portland, Oregon. Many renters have no idea whether or not they meet a landlord's criteria, and every failed application means a loss of time and money. But the data exist to connect qualified renters with open apartments, and that's the beauty of the online tool NoAppFee launched by Tyrone Poole. Laura Bliss has the full story of how NoAppFee helps "eliminate a needless barrier for lots of apartment seekers, at every income level" (CityLab). It's a textbook tale of successfully bridging the urban-tech divide.
  • Sidewalk Talk: Idea Tour - Tyrone Poole (YouTube)
Fatality free: We say this a lot here at Sidewalk but it bears repeating: When one city implements a great idea, others rush to do the same. That's been the case with Vision Zero, the push to eliminate traffic deaths that's spread from Sweden to dozens of cities across the U.S. At the core of Vision Zero are data-driven insights that can inform better policies (Governing). The more cities understand about their streets, the better they can protect everyone who uses them. More street reads:
  • Private Money, Public Spaces: A chat with Jay Walder (Next City)
  • Dallas Is a City of Accidents (D magazine)
  • What kept Seattle’s Pronto! bike-share program from thriving? (CityLab)

What we're doing

Sidewalk Talk @ YouTube: If you couldn't join our recent Sidewalk Talk event on the role of data and technology in delivering urban healthcare, you can still follow the conversation at our YouTube channel. Lauren Taylor talked about the social determinants of health. Aaron Truchil of the Camden Coalition explained how data hotspotting helps care delivery. Manmeet Kaur of City Health Works discussed tech's place in scaling community care models. And the full panel answered questions from the audience. More healthy-tech talk:
  • This Chicago Startup Is Easing the Headache of Applying for Food Stamps (CityLab)
  • Ethical issues complicate the benefits of medical crowdfunding (Stat)
  • Moving Patient Data Is Messy, But Blockchain Is Here to Help (Wired)
Sidewalk Labs @ SIPA: How does technology enrich the public realm? Come hear Sidewalk Chief Policy Officer Rit Aggarwala discuss that question alongside NYC CTO Miguel Gamiño Jr. and other local urban-tech leaders at Columbia University on February 23. Register for free here.

What we're reading

Crime and the core: Trump’s Vision of ‘Carnage’ Misses Complex Reality of Many Cities (NYT). No, sanctuary cities are not hotbeds of crime. (WaPo). The Real State of America’s Inner Cities (Aaron Renn). Chicago police look to tech surge to help solve murder spike (USA Today). A data-driven criminal justice effort launched under Obama is "dramatically expanding" (Arnold Foundation).
Tunnels and tolls: Inside the ‘Tunnel’ Elon Musk Is Digging Under LA (Wired). That's the wrong approach to fixing traffic (City Journal). Autonomous Car Pricing Will Turn Your Town Into A Science Experiment (Hackernoon). What HOT lanes reveal about the value of travel time (City Observatory). As Gas-Tax Profits Decline, More States May Turn to Tolls (Governing).
MTV unplugged: Google Is Quietly Rebuilding Itself Offline (CoDesign). Review: The Revenge of Analog (NY Review of Books). Tom Friedman on self-reflection in a tech age (Recode). The next unicorn may come from ... Detroit (Business Insider). What Killed the Pay Phone? (The Atlantic) The Data That Turned the World Upside Down (Motherboard).
Growing pains: A record-low share of Americans are moving, and housing policies are a big reason (Richard Florida). The costs of growth and change in Nashville (The Tennessean). New high-end developments bring the city to the suburbs (Curbed). Report: Use land near transit for housing, not parking (T4A). Study: The great promise of combining TOD with AVs (Cities - $)
It's a bot world after all: America’s Great Divergence (The Atlantic). Tech Leaders Are Just Now Getting Serious About the Threats of AI (Backchannel). Waymo's self-driving car tech is ahead of the pack (WSJ). The U.S. doesn’t spend enough money on labor market adjustment (Pacific Standard). State of the States 2017: The Future is Automation (GovTech).
Long: Report: The Legacy of InBloom (Data & Society)
Light: This business simulator game puts you in charge of a Silicon Valley startup (The Founder)
"Uber is working against the very model that their business is created upon, which is urban transportation. ... Partnership is based upon a two-way street, not a one-way street."
— Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (CityLab)
Copyright © 2016 Sidewalk Labs, All rights reserved.
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