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What We’re Following
Blockbuster hit: When Barcelona created its first “superblock” in 2016, it was fiercely controversial. The city took a three-square-block chunk of the city and closed it off to vehicle traffic, reserving it instead for pedestrians and cyclists. But it didn’t take long for residents to appreciate the new space they had to walk, play, and socialize. Since then, five more car-free enclaves have been implemented around the city, and the Spanish capital is dreaming about ultimately turning nearly 70 percent of its street space over to people, via a total of 503 superblocks.
While that vision is sure to meet more resistance, a new study offers some new evidence for seeing it through: It could deliver vast improvements to public health. A team of scientists estimates that the city could prevent 667 premature deaths every year by following through on the full plan, which would reduce exposure to air pollution, traffic noise, and heat. CityLab’s Laura Bliss has the story: Barcelona’s “Superblocks” Could Bring Big Health Benefits
More on CityLab
Since it opened 48 years ago, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., has been criticized for lacking some basic amenities and a sense of scale. But this past weekend, the Kennedy Center welcomed a new expansion, the Reach, which strives to convey the sense of lightness, movement, and intimacy that the original building lacks. CityLab’s Kriston Capps writes that the new buildings’ swooping exteriors and textured concrete interiors lend an “improvisational air” to the Reach while also boasting “some of the finest, most exacting finishes in the city.” Read his review of the space: The Kennedy Center’s ‘Reach’ Expansion Is a Beautiful Maze
What We’re Reading
Teens aren’t allowed to use Uber or Lyft alone. That doesn’t stop them. (Vox)
Kamala Harris releases a criminal justice plan (New York Times)
Is transit ridership loss inevitable? A U.S.-France comparison (The Transport Politic)
Locked out of L.A.’s white neighborhoods, they built a black suburb. Now they’re homeless.
(Los Angeles Times)
How school buses became yellow (Smithsonian)
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