Also: Can Amsterdam’s cyclists and pedestrians learn to get along? And Indonesia’s capital move concerns environmentalists.

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***

What We’re Following

Himalayan milestone: Roll over Tesla, meet the Safa Tempo. For a brief moment in the 1990s, Kathmandu, Nepal, was at the vanguard of the zero-emission transportation revolution, thanks to a locally manufactured three-wheeled electric vehicle called the Safa Tempo. The city had more than 600 of these battery-powered micro-buses, constituting the largest all-electric public transit fleet in the world by 2000. Owned and operated by local entrepreneurs, Safa Tempos turned one of the world’s poorest cities into a pioneer for an extraordinary new idea in green transportation—but only briefly.

(Niranjan Shrestha/AP)

After the turn of the millennium, the Safa Tempo’s homegrown manufacturing and assembly industry was forced to shut down. Fossil-fuel-powered buses swiftly retook the streets of Kathmandu, and local air quality has plummeted. But city’s electric past may be prelude: As part of Nepal’s commitment to the Paris climate agreement, the government is making a new investment in e-buses, and Kathmandu may soon be rediscovering the benefits of battery power. On CityLab: The Rise and Fall of Kathmandu’s Groundbreaking Electric Bus Industry

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Why Indonesia's Capital Move Has Environmentalists Worried

With Jakarta jammed and sinking, the Indonesian government has chosen Borneo as the site of its new capital, which it promises to make a “forest city.”

Linda Poon

Can Amsterdam’s Cyclists and Pedestrians Learn to Get Along?

As Amsterdammers jostle for space, the city government is trying to ease conflicts between those on bikes and on foot.

Sophie Knight

Time Is Running Out for Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower

The famous example of Japanese Metabolist architecture was headed for demolition—but a reprieve may be on the horizon.

Marie Doezema

How Innovative Companies Bring Higher Pay to Rural Areas

A new study measures innovation and shows that when found in rural areas, it is tied to significant presence of the creative class.

Richard Florida



What We’re Reading

Uber and Lyft take a lot more from drivers than they say, according to 14,756 fares (Jalopnik)

Do falling RV shipments signal a recession? (Curbed)

Why do e-bikes catch fire? (Bicycling)

Bernie Sanders takes on Facebook and Google for destroying local media (Recode)

The first Amazon employees have barely arrived in Northern Virginia, but the real estate frenzy has begun (Washington Post)


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