A morning roundup of the day’s news.
Overdose spike: Preliminary data shows that the U.S. saw its largest annual increase ever in drug overdose deaths last year, an estimated 19 percent jump to over 59,000 deaths. The New York Times, which compiled the data, reports on the effects on the ground in Ohio:
“July 5th, 2016 — that’s the day carfentanil hit the streets of Akron,” said Capt. Michael Shearer, the commander of the Narcotics Unit for the Akron Police Department. On that day, 17 people overdosed and one person died in a span of nine hours. Over the next six months, the county medical examiner recorded 140 overdose deaths of people testing positive for carfentanil. Just three years earlier, there were fewer than a hundred drug overdose deaths of any kind for the entire year.
Ride-sharing nuisance? San Francisco has issued subpoenas to review records from Uber and Lyft, as part of an investigation to determine if the companies have become a public nuisance — for example, creating road hazards and not adequately serving the poor and disabled. (Reuters)
Tech’s Paris commitment: Silicon Valley heavyweights including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google have joined hundreds of businesses and civic organizations for the “We Are Still In” initiative, pledging support for the Paris climate agreement despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal. (CBS News)
Oakland’s response: As authorities charge two people with manslaughter for the fatal Oakland “ghost ship” warehouse fire last year, the city is developing a new data tool to help prevent such tragedies, combining information on code violations, 911 calls, zoning, and more. (Washington Post, State Scoop)
Mapping pollution: Using Google Street View to measure air quality block by block, engineers have developed the most detailed local map of air pollution ever produced for an urban area, in Oakland. (Phys.org)
Neuro-architecture: Insights from psychology on how the brain responds to arrangement of urban spaces could start playing a bigger role in how cities are built, some experts say. (BBC News)
The urban lens:
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