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Manchester offers business grants to boost active travel

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has announced the creation of an £800,000 (US$1.1 million) funding pot and an interactive website to help businesses and employers support sustainable travel. The grants will allow companies to install facilities such as bike parking and changing facilities and the site will provide information and resources on encouraging and embedding sustainable transport. This includes options that support...

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Study links Airbnb rentals to increase in neighbourhood violence

A study by researchers from Boston’s Northeastern University suggests that Airbnb listings can lead to more violence in city neighbourhoods over time. The peer-reviewed study, Airbnb and neighborhood crime: The incursion of tourists or the erosion of local social dynamics?, published in academic journal PLOS ONE, found that rather than tourists causing a rise in crime, it was the gradual breakdown in community cohesion due to locals...

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Former Stockton mayor invests in ‘backyard housing’ start-up

Abodu, which provides prefabricated Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), or ‘backyard housing’, has raised US$20 million in a Series A funding round. ADUs, which are small dwellings built on the same grounds as a single family house, can be used as guest cottages, extra living space for families or home offices but they’re increasingly being used as rental housing in the US due to the affordability crisis facing many cities and...

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Mandatory tests introduced for e-scooter users in Singapore

From 1 January 2022, e-scooter and power-assisted bicycle (PAB) riders in Singapore will have to pass an online theory test. The new rules – mandated by Singapore’s Land Transit Authority – are being introduced to boost safety, with tests aiming to improve awareness of active mobility rules, codes of conduct and safe riding practices. Riders have been able to register for the tests since 30 June, and will have to score at least...

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Rotterdam’s first Chief Digital Officer prepares to take the helm

Bas Boorsma has been appointed as the City of Rotterdam’s first Chief Digital Officer (CDO) and will take up the role from August 1. “The remit is CDO to the city, much more than CDO to the municipality,” Boorsma told Cities Today. He explained: “The idea behind the position is different to the typical CDO role. It is to pursue an innovation agenda in the city, yet in collaboration with the municipality, whereas a traditional...

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Porto creates ‘mediator’ role to oversee tourist rental market

Porto City Council has approved a plan to create a new administrative position to oversee the city’s short-term tourist rental market. The ‘Local Accommodation Mediator’ will study and report on the interests, concerns and trends affecting all stakeholders in the sector, as well as help to settle conflicts. In Portugal, the term ‘Local Accommodation’ (LA) refers to properties which are licenced for rental to tourists on...

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Copenhagen removes parking spaces in city centre trial

Copenhagen’s pedestrians and cyclists will have priority over cars on five historical city centre streets, as part of a pilot project aimed at transforming the Danish capital’s medieval district. Parking spaces will be replaced with trees and benches during the experiments, which run until the end of September. The projects stem from a number of recommendations that a Citizens’ Assembly presented to the City Council in 2019, and...