Architecture & Urbanism.
- How a tiny mapping error led to a massive tax break for a Baltimore real estate development led by the CEO of Under Armour, which otherwise wouldn't have qualified. The slight overlap between two digital shapefiles (less than one one-thousandth of a square mile under a freeway overpass) enabled a relatively affluent neighborhood, Port Covington, to be classified as an "opportunity zone" and receive subsidies meant for lower-income areas.
- A primer on "hostile architecture," the design features deployed in public spaces to deter the homeless from occupying those spaces. More broadly defined, hostile architecture's objective is "to force people to use property in exactly one way."
- Rental cars have become popular in Japan as stationary spaces for napping, eating, and charging electronic devices. "Occasionally, a car is not a mode of travel, but an indoor space in a world where indoor spaces are increasingly privatized and inaccessible to many people."
- A visualization of how melting glaciers in the Italian Alps are altering Italy’s borders with neighboring countries, forcing the Italian government to introduce the concept of a "moving border" to keep up with the change.
- Climate change is fueling an increase in the global demand for air conditioning, a vicious cycle that will in turn increase energy consumption and further contribute to global warming. The worldwide market for air conditioning is far from saturated: "The number of air-conditioning units installed globally is set to jump from about 1.6 billion today to 5.6 billion by the middle of the century."
Distribution & Logistics.
- The digital replica of a real Seattle suburb that Amazon uses to train its delivery robots.
- Food delivery apps are drowning China in plastic, precipitating a more than ninefold increase in packaging waste over the past few years.
Data & Finance.
- Hedge funds are using private jet movements to identify upcoming mergers and other megadeals. Matt Levine half-jokes that more companies should negotiate mergers via videoconferencing software to avoid telegraphing their moves.
- Institutional buyers are snapping up Houston's entry-level housing as soon as it hits the market, assisted by a firm called Entera that uses data to automate the process of identifying good deals. "On average, our customers take three minutes from the time a property hits the market to the time they make an offer if they don’t send someone out," Entera's founder claims.
- The U.S. government funds an unusual program called "Exploring American Values" that sends groups of British social media influencers on two-week tours across the United States. "This soft-power 'influencer diplomacy' aims to promote American values through Britain’s social media stars."
- Each July 1 in Montreal, 70,000 households move on the same day.
- Interest in tourism to Chernobyl has boomed in the wake of the HBO miniseries, but, unsurprisingly, the site "has yet to find an appropriate tone for its tourism."
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