Also: How to make bad bus signs better, and when to expect fall foliage across America.
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What We’re Following
Pencils down: Today, students across the globe are skipping school, not because of the good weather, but because of the climate: They’re going on strike. With about 2,500 protests planned in 153 countries, the Global Climate Strike aims to put pressure on governments and businesses to take action to address climate change.
The epicenter of the strike is in New York City, where the United Nations is gathering next week to revisit the goals set under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. (Vox) The city’s school district has given permission to its 1.1 million students to skip class and join the protest with an original school striker, 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. (Gothamist)
Meanwhile protesters plan to march to Representative Nancy Pelosi’s local congressional office in San Francisco. (USA Today) And in Washington, D.C., students will march to Capitol Hill where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is scheduled to address the crowd. Another student strike is planned for next Friday.
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Walk in the Park
Across plenty of cities today, miniature parklets will sprout up in parking spaces, marking the tradition of tactical urbanism known as Park(ing) Day. But did you know that the roots of the word “parking” actually originates from planting trees?
That’s what one former researcher at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation found out while exploring the history of street trees. In 1870, Congress passed legislation that authorized Washington, D.C. to set aside half the width of the street for “parking on either side of the street,” but at the time, the automobile had not even been invented: They were talking about planting trees and smaller plants to create parks for pedestrians. Imagine if Washington had stuck with that streetscape. Members of Congress might have even had a different attitude about D.C. statehood. From the CityLab archive: A Brief History of Park(ing) Day.
What We’re Reading
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio drops his 2020 presidential bid (NPR)
Jeff Bezos unveils Amazon’s plan to tackle climate change (CNBC)
Airbnb says it plans to go public in 2020 (New York Times)
How do buildings contribute to climate change? (Curbed)
Longtime Streetsblog writer Angie Schmitt signs off (Streetsblog)