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Self-driving electric shuttle bus tested for use on roads in Netherlands

The Guardian, 29 January 2016
A self-driving electric shuttle bus, called a WEpod, is unveiled in Gelderland, Netherlands, on Thursday. There are already self-driving vehicles such as the Rotterdam Rivium shuttle bus and the Heathrow shuttles in London, but those vehicles operate on dedicated lanes. In Gelderland, the WEpods will be mixing with regular traffic.

Cyclists Protest In Sydney Over ‘Nonsense’ Bicycle Law Changes

Huffington Post, 29 January 2016
Scores of fired-up cyclists have rolled through Sydney’s CBD to protest against new NSW Government rules and penalties for bike riders including fines of more than $300 for not wearing a helmet. The rally on wheels, underway Friday morning, is part of a campaign by NSW cyclists against the new regulations that take effect in March. It follows a similar protest earlier this month.

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V/Line head resigns as passengers wait for rail ‘debacle’ to be resolved

The Guardian, 29 January 2016
Passengers on Victoria’s troubled regional rail network have been dealt another blow with news that V/Line is still too unstable to resume regular service. The chief executive of V/Line, Theo Taifalos, has also resigned. The Victorian transport minister, Jacinta Allan, said the government was furious but denied Taifalos was sacked or had been asked to leave.

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The ethical city: an idea whose time has come

The Conversation, 27 January 2016
Globally, there is intense discussion about the future of urban life through the World Urban Campaign. The central proposition is that:
… the battle for a more sustainable future will be won or lost in cities.
Presumably, this is predicated on the fact that 54% of the world’s people live in cities, where 70% of global GDP is generated. By 2050 the urban population will have risen to 66%.

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China’s first domestic green bond sales come on the heels of the hottest year on record

Renew Economy, 27 January 2016
Concern about climate change is helping to fuel the growth of the market for green bonds. Last week, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank laid the first stakes in China’s domestic green bond market, offering a sale of as much as CNY 20bn ($3bn) and the Industrial Bank of China followed suite with plans to sell CNY 10bn ($1.52bn) of green bonds in support of clean energy. A record $46bn of new green bonds were issued in 2015, including $19.2bn in issuance by development institutions, $17.3bn in corporate volume and $3.8m in US municipal bonds, according to a BNEF Analyst Reaction.

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Uzbekistan Airways to weigh passengers with their carry on before boarding

Traveller, 13 August 2015
Uzbekistan’s national carrier plans to weigh passengers with their hand luggage before boarding as part of a new ‘flight safety’ measure. Uzbekistan Airways passengers will be directed to a “special weighing machine” at the departure gate, to determine each person’s average weight with their hand baggage.
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Suburban rail deal shows power and importance of Transport for London

The Guardian, 22 January 2016
Warm approval has greeted news that Transport for London (TfL) is to assume full control of the capital’s suburban rail network. The only noticeable cool note among responses so far has been impatience over having to wait until 2021 for the final batch of services to be devolved after so many years of campaigning across the political spectrum.
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Britain’s first garden town: housing crisis solution or ‘dog’s breakfast’?

The Guardian, 20 January 2016
Fluorescent-jacketed workers, tower cranes, uprooted trees, steel skeletons of new warehouses and half-completed cul-de-sacs: the view from Bicester’s ring road is of green fields being rapidly colonised by grey buildings. Just as new constructions rise every day, so some residents are roused into action almost daily to question the transformation of their market town in Oxfordshire.
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Concrete jungle? We’ll have to do more than plant trees to bring wildlife back to our cities

The Conversation, 20 January 2016
The federal environment and acting cities minister, Greg Hunt, on Tuesday pledged to increase the number of trees in Australian cities. In a bid to fight higher urban temperatures, the plan will set targets for tree cover. This is part of a green revolution spreading through the world’s cities. From New York to Singapore, urban areas are undertaking bold “greenspace” initiatives – removing concrete and allowing trees and vegetation back in.

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The tube at a standstill: why TfL stopped people walking up the escalators

The Guardian, 16 January 2016
On 4 December last year, the London Underground ingested 4,821,000 passengers and spat them out at their destinations, and in doing so set a new record for a single day. But on that particular Friday, the 11,000 of them who got off at Holborn station between 8.30 and 9.30am faced an unusually severe provocation. As they turned into the concourse at the bottom of the station’s main route out and looked up, they saw something frankly outrageous: on the escalators just ahead of them, dozens of people were standing on the left.
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