Your monthly roundup of news, tools, and events from the world of 8 80 Cities.

#POSTCOVIDCITY: Will COVID-19 Be the Excuse We Need to Design More Family-friendly Cities?

Building cities that are welcoming and friendly for families is a topic that we love to explore and hear from diverse perspectives. Our guest contributors, Naama Blonder from Smart Density, and Lior Steinberg from Humankind discuss family-friendly cities from their Toronto and Netherlands perspectives amid COVID-19.

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Latin America's Indigenous Shield Elderly 'Cultural Guardians' from Coronavirus 

There are 42 million indigenous people in Latin America, about 8% of the population, according to World Bank data. Mining, oil extraction and deforestation, and now COVID-19, are threats especially to their elderly. The group -the most vulnerable to complications from the virus- are the guardians of several traditions and collective memory. Community leaders are protecting this population to avoid losing the fundamental values of their culture.

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The ‘Al Fresco Economy’: Restaurants Want to Start NYC’s Revival — All They Need is Space

In this article, Gersh Kuntzman from Streetblog, makes the case of how the “open streets” programs in New York City can allow eateries to repurpose public roads for the ultimate public purpose: to jumpstart an economy and put New Yorkers back to work. 

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Urban Density: Confronting the Distance Between Desire and Disparity

Placemaker and author Jay Pitter argues for an equity-based understanding of urban density during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. In these times we are living in, the understanding of "forgotten densities" should be a priority to strategize new ways to support communities that are facing challenges in health, food security, race, gender and poverty.

Photo credit: Taha Muharuma  

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The Lockdown as an opportunity for Bike Lanes
Gil Penalosa, founder and chair of 8 80 Cities, talked to the BBC about the opportunity that cities have for including more bike lanes for people to move around. 

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We are happy to share the article Child-friendly Cities: Designing for Children with Children that our very own Candice Leung and Siva Vijenthira wrote for the latest OPPI YMagazine on child-friendly cities, free play, and independent mobility (Pages15-16).

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The application for our annual Emerging City Champions Fellowship will launch soon. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, visit the Emerging City Champions website for more details on the program.

Parks Matter More than Ever During a Time of Sickness

Richard leBrasseur shares his thoughts about the role of urban parks in our urban environments and how they serve as activators of health and well-being, especially during the health crisis we are living in. In the article, leBrasseur focuses on the work of Frederick Law Olmsted, whose knowledge of contagious diseases informed his visions for his great North American urban parks, including Central Park in New York, Mount Royal Park in Montreal and Boston's Emerald Necklace park system.

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NACTO COVID-19 Resources 

NACTO's recently shared COVID-19 Resource Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery compiles emerging practices in transportation and street design from around the world and includes implementation resources for cities and their partners. The proposed strategies are revised constantly and adapted to the crisis evolution.

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Is the Future of Toronto a Two-Wheel Paradise? 

From New York to Vancouver, and now in Toronto, as the summer is already here, bike shops are reporting booming sales. 

Cycling is becoming one of the preferred modes of active transportation, and more so now with the City's ActiveTO plan. 

Kate McGillivray from CBC News gets the perspective from shop owners and cycling advocates to discuss how the current circumstance can become, as Michael Longfield, interim executive director of Cycle Toronto says  "the beginning of Toronto embracing cycling and cycling culture."

Photo credit: Dave Edwards

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