The despotic city planner hadn’t counted on the determination of the mothers in question, or the ferocity of their leader – an owlish stenographer and freelance journalist by the name of Jane Jacobs. As part of his insatiable hunger for grand public works, Moses wanted to extend Fifth Avenue through the square, ostensibly to ease congestion, but with the real motive of rewarding developers and raising property values south of the park, where he had already razed a swath of Greenwich Village for redevelopment. Jacobs, who lived in the West Village and knew how much her neighbourhood valued the park, mobilised a vocal coalition of campaigners, residents and politicians, who eventually halted the project. “It is very discouraging to do our best to make the city more habitable,” Jacobs wrote to the mayor, “and then to learn that the city is thinking up schemes to make it uninhabitable.” That hearing was the only time Jacobs and Moses ever crossed paths, … [Read more...] about Street fighter: how Jane Jacobs saved New York from Bulldozer Bob
Insurance car new york
In 2010, the small community of specialists who pay attention to US road safety statistics picked up the first signs of a troubling trend: more and more pedestrians were being killed on American roads. That year, 4,302 American pedestrians died, an increase of almost 5% from 2009. The tally has increased almost every year since, with particularly sharp spikes in 2015 and 2016. Last year, 41% more US pedestrians were killed than in 2008. During this same period, overall non-pedestrian road fatalities moved in the opposite direction, decreasing by more than 7%. For drivers, roads are as safe as they have ever been; for people on foot, roads keep getting deadlier. Through the 90s and 00s, the pedestrian death count had declined almost every year. No one would have confused the US for a walkers’ paradise – at least part of the reason fewer pedestrians died in this period was that people were driving more and walking less, which meant that there were fewer opportunities to be … [Read more...] about Collision course: why are cars killing more and more pedestrians?
What is democracy worth? Later this month a broadly philosophical question will be put to a material test. On 25 October at 5pm, the web domain democracy.com goes up for auction. The site is currently administered by veteran social activist Talmage Cooley. The advertised price, according to Heritage Auctions, is $300,000 or higher. The sale is being run as a sealed-bid auction, in which each potential buyer is blind to what others have offered. It’s a gamble, like democracy itself, and it’s possible that there will be no buyers at all. “This is an aspirational piece of real estate that represents one of the core values on the planet, and it’s worth what somebody thinks they can do to leverage that name,” Cooley told the Guardian. Domain names are not what they used to be and values have fallen since domain suffixes were expanded beyond dot com and dot org. The highest recorded price for a domain was cars.com, valued at $872m in 2015. But .com domains … [Read more...] about Who will be the new owner of democracy.com? Domain to go on sale
Police have released CCTV images of a 'vehicle fleeing after the theft of a £5million solid-gold toilet from Blenheim Palace', as insurers offer up a £100,000 reward for its return. Thames Valley Police were called to reports of a burglary at Winston Churchill's birthplace at Woodstock, Oxfordshire, on September 14, where the art installation lavatory was stolen in an overnight raid. The fully functioning toilet, named America, was part of an art exhibition in a wood-panelled room at the 18th-century estate, and its theft caused significant flood damage as it had been plumbed in for visitors to use. Officers believe at least two vehicles were used during the burglary. No-one was injured and it is thought the offenders left the scene at around 4.50am. A photograph of a navy blue Volkswagen Golf R has been released by Thames Valley Police. The 18-carat gold toilet was unveiled at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, as part of an exhibition by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, before … [Read more...] about CCTV shows ‘car fleeing after theft of £5m solid-gold toilet from Blenheim Palace’ as insurers offer £100,000 reward for its return
Google founder Sergey Brin 'tried to steal' former Uber boss Travis Kalanick's girlfriend, hours after announcing he was turning against his business, a new book has revealed. Kalanick was stunned in 2014 when Brin unveiled the first self-driving car for Google, which until then had been an Uber ally, because he felt it threatened his company. New York Times tech journalist Mike Isaac details the rise of the ride-hailing app, and the controversial workplace culture that nearly brought it down, in new book, Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, released last month. According to Isaac, Kalanick's humiliation took a far more personal twist that night, with Brin even chatting up the Uber founder's now-ex-girlfriend Gabi Holzwarth, a musician and dancer, during a dinner with Silicon Valley heavyweights. Kalanick told a colleague that Brin, who at the time was going through a messy divorce after having an affair with a younger female employee, had put his hand … [Read more...] about How Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick nearly brought the ride-hailing app down spending millions on employee drug and strip club parties expensed as ‘t*ts on Travis’ and went to war with Google after Sergey Brin ‘tried to steal his girlfriend’