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The Friday Five – Sustainability & Urban Mobility Blog by Niu

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Earth Day

Beaches and trails might be closed, but onliners can still revel in the natural world through USC’s online Earth Day festivities starting Wednesday. Anyone with a computer, smartphone or tablet can register for virtual interactive forums, panel discussions, a career fair and even a special sustainability-themed meditation session using Zoom and other video technology.

Empty Streets Effect

As governments around the world take drastic measures to stop the global health pandemic advancing, a small but important silver lining has emerged. Answering, at least temporarily, a question that countries like the Netherlands began asking almost half a century ago: what do cities look like without cars?

Tale of Two Cities

Almost overnight, in mid-March, Parisian streets were emptied of cars as well as approximately 17% of the people driving them. The effect on the ground was rapid and dramatic, with Airparif reporting that, by March 25th, the city was experiencing the best air quality on record in at least 40 years. Furthermore, the pollution disparity gives a longer term insight into the post-Covid future of the French capital’s air.

Wearable Payments

Convenience, consumer choice, and the ability to use contactless payments for public transportation hold the key to driving the mass market adoption of wearable payments in urban environments. Tap in to this discussion between Mastercard, , Timex and wearable payments innovator Tappy explaining the this tech-adoption, which is now available to watch free of charge in the NFCW Knowledge Centre.

Plastic Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the global economy and disrupted the waste, plastic, and recycling industries. However, plastics production, and recycling sectors although at first glance appear only tangentially linked to essential services, are intimately connected to a thriving economy and critical public health roles. 

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