A morning roundup of the day’s news.
Recovery effort: Tuesday’s powerful earthquake in Mexico City toppled buildings, killed more than 200 people, and kicked off an intense recovery effort in the capital. For other earthquake-prone cities, especially L.A., the shocking scenes were a “graphic reminder” of what’s almost certain to happen someday, via the Los Angeles Times:
We know that someday, any day, it will be Los Angeles’ turn for a Big One. That’s what the experts tell us, though it’s easy to forget when the ground is still. This was a sobering and graphic reminder.
The wonder, or perhaps the horror, of social media is that it allows people to remotely participate in a catastrophe in a personal but safe way. Photos are one thing, but hearing the real terror and fear from those who are there fully experiencing it in real time is another thing entirely. In another earthquake video shared on Twitter, a man holds a phone to record his reaction along with that of a woman in the room. He says no way, no way, no way and the woman babbles, I think she’s praying, as the furniture topples and the room rocks. It’s a terribly intimate moment I’m almost embarrassed to watch. But it strikes a chord. I’ve been there. And I will be there again, most likely.
Next-gen bike share: Already popular in China, dockless bike-share systems are finding more homes in the U.S.—including in D.C. today, with 200 GPS-tracked smart bikes that can be parked anywhere. San Francisco, Seattle, and Dallas are also experimenting with the concept. (Washington Post)
Stranded: In Houston, a city designed explicitly for cars, what’s to become of the estimated 250,000-plus drivers who lost their vehicles to Hurricane Harvey—especially the low-income residents who now can’t get to work? (Grist, Texas Tribune)
City from scratch: With its ambition to “build a city from the ground up,” Google sister company Sidewalk Labs envisions a testing ground for tech, transportation, and the like—and maybe also new ways to govern. (Financial Times)
Active cities: Boulder is the U.S. city where people get the most exercise, according to a Gallup well-being index that found two other Colorado cities in top spots but ranked Morganton, North Carolina, and Akron, Ohio, as the bottom for physical activity. (USA Today)
The urban lens:
Trees, bricks, and car-freedom- the only thing that could improve this little plaza near Levi's Square is if it was more ADA compliant. I really want to see more car-free streets that welcome all people. #sanfrancisco #embarcadero #cobblestone #streettrees #streetdesign #accessibility #880cities #carfreedom #brickarchitecture #streetsforpeople #citylabontheground #righttothecity
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