May 5, 2014
theatlanticcities:


With a group of friends – some, like himself, members of Munich’s Foreigners’ Advisory Council – Dipama tried to get into one nightclub after the other. Of the 25 clubs they paid a visit to, 20 turned him and his minority ethnic friends away. Shortly after they were rejected – typical excuses were “it’s a private party” and “you need a reservation” – white German friends also involved in the experiment were let in without problems. 
Now Dipama is suing six of the clubs for a symbolic €500 worth of damages, under a German law that forbids the exclusion of anyone from public life (including nightclubs) because of their ethnic origin. The first trial – there have to be individual cases opened for each club – began this week.
Dipama has insisted on taking the complaints to court because simply naming the clubs publicly isn’t enough to change things. In the interview quoted above, he mentions an earlier case of a man of African origin who complained to a Munich club about being refused admission.The club apologized profusely, but it was still among the group to which Dipama was denied entry.
Does this mean that there is systematic racism at work here? Or is it just that the German legal system working better than others in rooting out isolated cases of discrimination?

-Germany’s Nightclubs Get Called Out for Racism
[Image: Shutterstock/Pavel L Photo and Video]

theatlanticcities:

With a group of friends – some, like himself, members of Munich’s Foreigners’ Advisory Council – Dipama tried to get into one nightclub after the other. Of the 25 clubs they paid a visit to, 20 turned him and his minority ethnic friends away. Shortly after they were rejected – typical excuses were “it’s a private party” and “you need a reservation” – white German friends also involved in the experiment were let in without problems. 

Now Dipama is suing six of the clubs for a symbolic €500 worth of damages, under a German law that forbids the exclusion of anyone from public life (including nightclubs) because of their ethnic origin. The first trial – there have to be individual cases opened for each club – began this week.

Dipama has insisted on taking the complaints to court because simply naming the clubs publicly isn’t enough to change things. In the interview quoted above, he mentions an earlier case of a man of African origin who complained to a Munich club about being refused admission.The club apologized profusely, but it was still among the group to which Dipama was denied entry.

Does this mean that there is systematic racism at work here? Or is it just that the German legal system working better than others in rooting out isolated cases of discrimination?

-Germany’s Nightclubs Get Called Out for Racism

[Image: Shutterstock/Pavel L Photo and Video]

(Source: thisiscitylab)

May 5, 2014
The United Cities of America: What Seattle’s Minimum-Wage Deal Means

On Wednesday, a Senate filibuster blocked President Obama’s proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10. Then on Thursday, Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle announced a business-labor deal to raise the city minimum wage to $15.
Procedurally, these two things had nothing to do with each other. Substantively, Seattle’s action is a direct result of the Senate’s inaction—and it portends the acceleration of two trends in public policy today: a growing willingness to reckon with radical inequality and wage stagnation, and the emergence of networked localism as a strategy for political action.
Read more. [Image: Jason Redmond/Reuters]

The United Cities of America: What Seattle’s Minimum-Wage Deal Means

On Wednesday, a Senate filibuster blocked President Obama’s proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10. Then on Thursday, Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle announced a business-labor deal to raise the city minimum wage to $15.

Procedurally, these two things had nothing to do with each other. Substantively, Seattle’s action is a direct result of the Senate’s inaction—and it portends the acceleration of two trends in public policy today: a growing willingness to reckon with radical inequality and wage stagnation, and the emergence of networked localism as a strategy for political action.

Read more. [Image: Jason Redmond/Reuters]

April 28, 2014
theatlanticcities:


The first rule of riding in Google’s self-driving car, says Dmitri Dolgov, is not to compliment Google’s self-driving car. We’ve been cruising the streets of Mountain View for about ten minutes. Dolgov, the car’s software lead, is sitting shotgun. Brian Torcellini, the project’s lead test driver (read: “driver”), is sitting behind the wheel (yes, there is a wheel). He is doing no more to guide the vehicle than I’m doing from the backseat. I have just announced that so far the trip has been “amazingly smooth.”
"The car knows," says Dolgov.
He means I have violated some code of robotic superstition, calling the contest too early. Or maybe he means my praise serves no function here. If I can tell how well the car is driving itself, so can the car.

-The First Look at How Google’s Self-Driving Car Handles City Streets

theatlanticcities:

The first rule of riding in Google’s self-driving car, says Dmitri Dolgov, is not to compliment Google’s self-driving car. We’ve been cruising the streets of Mountain View for about ten minutes. Dolgov, the car’s software lead, is sitting shotgun. Brian Torcellini, the project’s lead test driver (read: “driver”), is sitting behind the wheel (yes, there is a wheel). He is doing no more to guide the vehicle than I’m doing from the backseat. I have just announced that so far the trip has been “amazingly smooth.”

"The car knows," says Dolgov.

He means I have violated some code of robotic superstition, calling the contest too early. Or maybe he means my praise serves no function here. If I can tell how well the car is driving itself, so can the car.

-The First Look at How Google’s Self-Driving Car Handles City Streets

(Source: thisiscitylab)

April 23, 2014
There's Basically No Way Not to Be a Gentrifier

(Source: thisiscitylab)

April 2, 2014
theatlanticcities:


The substantial and growing gap between the rich and everyone else is increasingly inscribed on our geography. There have always been affluent neighborhoods, gated enclaves, and fabled bastions of wealth like Greenwich, Connecticut; Grosse Pointe, Michigan; Potomac, Maryland; and Beverly Hills, California. But America’s bankers, lawyers, and doctors didn’t always live so far apart from teachers, accountants, and small business owners, who themselves weren’t always so segregated from the poorest, most struggling Americans. My father, a factory worker, raised his family in suburban New Jersey just around the corner from my uncle, who had a management position as the head of research and development at Colgate Palmolive. But that kind of world has disappeared today. As the sociologists Sean Reardon and Kendra Bischoff noted in their 2013 study of economic segregation in America, “During the last four decades, the isolation of the rich has been consistently greater than the isolation of the poor. “

-The U.S. Cities Where the Rich Are Most Segregated From Everyone Else
Dark blue = Metro areas where the wealthy are the most isolated
Yellow = Metro areas where the wealthy are more mixed in or integrated.

theatlanticcities:

The substantial and growing gap between the rich and everyone else is increasingly inscribed on our geography. There have always been affluent neighborhoods, gated enclaves, and fabled bastions of wealth like Greenwich, Connecticut; Grosse Pointe, Michigan; Potomac, Maryland; and Beverly Hills, California. But America’s bankers, lawyers, and doctors didn’t always live so far apart from teachers, accountants, and small business owners, who themselves weren’t always so segregated from the poorest, most struggling Americans. My father, a factory worker, raised his family in suburban New Jersey just around the corner from my uncle, who had a management position as the head of research and development at Colgate Palmolive. But that kind of world has disappeared today. As the sociologists Sean Reardon and Kendra Bischoff noted in their 2013 study of economic segregation in America, “During the last four decades, the isolation of the rich has been consistently greater than the isolation of the poor. “

-The U.S. Cities Where the Rich Are Most Segregated From Everyone Else

Dark blue = Metro areas where the wealthy are the most isolated

Yellow = Metro areas where the wealthy are more mixed in or integrated.

(Source: thisiscitylab)

March 31, 2014

theatlanticcities:

Inside London’s first cat cafe.

[Images: Reuters]

(Source: thisiscitylab)

March 27, 2014
The Cities Where Even 3 Minimum Wage Jobs Won't Pay the Rent

(Source: thisiscitylab)

March 24, 2014
The U.S. Cities Where the Poor Are Most Segregated From Everyone Else

(Source: thisiscitylab)

March 20, 2014
theatlanticcities:


The Move NY plan remains in its formative stages and open to change, but some of the basics are in place. Its first goal will be to distribute bridge and tunnel traffic more evenly and dissuade bridge shopping on the East River. To that end, all the eastern crossings, including the currently free bridges, will cost the same price: $10.66 round-trip for E-Z Pass users, $15 cash. Those increases will be counter-balanced with toll reductions on the outer bridges of as much as 50 percent.
That takes care of commuters entering the island from everywhere but the west. (The outcome of Bridgegate aside, the plan does not involve the Port Authority bridges and tunnels that carry travelers from Jersey for various logistical reasons.) Next the plan takes aim at congestion in Manhattan itself. A toll cordon would be placed at 60th Street to charge drivers heading into the part of the city with the greatest demand: the midtown business district.
Those are the broad strokes; now for some of the finer details. Drivers will be encouraged to pay with a transponder (like E-Z Pass); those without one will be captured via license-plate cameras. Cars will pay the tolls each pass, but commercial vehicles will only have to pay once round-trip in a 24-hour period, to limit the burden on businesses. Yellow cabs will pay a surcharge south of 96th Street — the idea being that they contribute to congestion but in theirquasi-transit role shouldn’t pay the full cordon price every time.
All told the plan could generate up $1.5 billion in net revenue every year. The MTA would manage the money (under the terms of the plan, the agency would lease the four free East River bridges from the city, though the feds might have final say about that). Precisely where the money will go is what Schwartz and Move NY leaders hope to determine with public input awareness campaign. For now, most of it (roughly a billion) is earmarked for transit: maintaining current service and expanding into transit deserts, with anything extra stowed away for long-term capital projects. The rest would go toward the city’s roads and bridges, as well as subsidies for suburban buses or rail commuters.
The revenue number might attract local eyes, but it’s the traffic improvement that will get the attention of other cities. Schwartz and Move NY want traffic flows in the cordon area to improve by 20 percent. Right now the tolls are fixed, but Schwartz says they’ll be adjusted on a quarterly basis to make sure that mark is being met. If traffic is flowing above expectations, it could be lowered. If it’s still oozing like ooze, the tolls might go up.

-The Plan That Could Finally Free New York City From Traffic Congestion
[Map: Mark Byrnes]

theatlanticcities:

The Move NY plan remains in its formative stages and open to change, but some of the basics are in place. Its first goal will be to distribute bridge and tunnel traffic more evenly and dissuade bridge shopping on the East River. To that end, all the eastern crossings, including the currently free bridges, will cost the same price: $10.66 round-trip for E-Z Pass users, $15 cash. Those increases will be counter-balanced with toll reductions on the outer bridges of as much as 50 percent.

That takes care of commuters entering the island from everywhere but the west. (The outcome of Bridgegate aside, the plan does not involve the Port Authority bridges and tunnels that carry travelers from Jersey for various logistical reasons.) Next the plan takes aim at congestion in Manhattan itself. A toll cordon would be placed at 60th Street to charge drivers heading into the part of the city with the greatest demand: the midtown business district.

Those are the broad strokes; now for some of the finer details. Drivers will be encouraged to pay with a transponder (like E-Z Pass); those without one will be captured via license-plate cameras. Cars will pay the tolls each pass, but commercial vehicles will only have to pay once round-trip in a 24-hour period, to limit the burden on businesses. Yellow cabs will pay a surcharge south of 96th Street — the idea being that they contribute to congestion but in theirquasi-transit role shouldn’t pay the full cordon price every time.

All told the plan could generate up $1.5 billion in net revenue every year. The MTA would manage the money (under the terms of the plan, the agency would lease the four free East River bridges from the city, though the feds might have final say about that). Precisely where the money will go is what Schwartz and Move NY leaders hope to determine with public input awareness campaign. For now, most of it (roughly a billion) is earmarked for transit: maintaining current service and expanding into transit deserts, with anything extra stowed away for long-term capital projects. The rest would go toward the city’s roads and bridges, as well as subsidies for suburban buses or rail commuters.

The revenue number might attract local eyes, but it’s the traffic improvement that will get the attention of other cities. Schwartz and Move NY want traffic flows in the cordon area to improve by 20 percent. Right now the tolls are fixed, but Schwartz says they’ll be adjusted on a quarterly basis to make sure that mark is being met. If traffic is flowing above expectations, it could be lowered. If it’s still oozing like ooze, the tolls might go up.

-The Plan That Could Finally Free New York City From Traffic Congestion

[Map: Mark Byrnes]

(Source: thisiscitylab)

March 19, 2014
theatlanticcities:

Why a brand-new $10 million library has been sitting empty for months.
[Image: “Settle the Northside Library Funding Issue Now”/Facebook]

theatlanticcities:

Why a brand-new $10 million library has been sitting empty for months.

[Image: “Settle the Northside Library Funding Issue Now”/Facebook]

(Source: thisiscitylab)

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