Somerville, a Urban Lab for Mobility

Over the past few weeks we have been exposed to endless news about the Volkswagen group’s emissions scandal. As dark as that tale has been, Audi, the luxury brand of the VW group, has been working on a project to help cities. It’s called Urban Future Initiative and tries to find solutions to cities’ unique mobility problems.

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Thank you for cheating, Volkswagen

The automaker’s emissions scandal could end up being a boon if it pushes governments and the industry to reassess diesel’s impact more honestly and move away from it altogether.

When I first read about the way Volkswagen engineers had developed a cheating device to disguise the real emissions of some of the most popular diesel engines used in the VW group, I was appalled.

Now, however, I am convinced the whole episode was a good thing. Europe needs to reevaluate its dependence on diesel, not only for passenger cars and buses, but also for freight transportation.

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Barcelona's illegal street vendors form protective union

Illegal street vendors across Barcelona’s tourist districts last week created their own union to negotiate with city officials. New leftist Mayor Ada Colau has welcomed the move.

Illegal street vendors, the guys hawking fake Chanel bags and Gucci sunglasses, are a phenomenon the world over, and their trade is big business. In Los Angeles, they add half a billion dollars a year to the local economy.

Mayor Ada Colau has welcomed the newly created Popular Union for Street Vendors (Sindicato Popular de Vendedores Ambulantes), established this month by the illegal vendors themselves. Its stated purpose is to fight discrimination, racism and police violence.

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