Hey team, and welcome back to one5c. The Polar Vortex is blasting much of the U.S. with extreme cold, and Central Park has had its first real snow accumulation in nearly two years. Naturally, the incredible chill immediately spurs thoughts about the impacts of the climate crisis, but the quiet of the snowy streets in my New York City neighborhood also reminds me of something I felt at the beginning of the pandemic. The stark silence of carless avenues during lockdown really shifted my thinking about cities, and I quickly became obsessed with how to reinvent our urban spaces in a way that’s as equitable as it is ecological.
There’s, of course, no single answer that applies everywhere, but this week’s digest does include two novel notions: the eminently walkable 15-minute city, and a Robin-Hood-esque plan to fund affordable housing. Any interesting approaches taking shape in your hometown? I’d definitely love to hear about it! —Corinne