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Future Changes In Cityscapes

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Five areas are anticipated to influence the most change in cityscapes includes: climate change and micromobility, airports, data centers, patient-driven health care, and museums and libraries.

Credit: Gensler

Cities must adapt and “aggressively” prepare for climate change. Public-private partnerships will help cities adopt strategies by zoning low-lying areas like parks and wetlands, and creating elevated transportation networks in advance of floods.

Roadways will also have to adapt to the influx of new mobility vehicles, including autonomous vehicles (AVs), e-bikes and scooters. As more people turn to AVs in the U.S., 500 million parking spaces will open up for redevelopment, making way for reuse opportunities that include outdoor dining or gathering spaces.

Airports will evolve from transportation centers to essentially miniature cities. The number of people traveling by air is expected to almost double to 7.8 billion people in 2036, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Airports will seek ways to make their locations authentic to the surrounding area with locally sourced elements like foods and artwork. Airports will also work to attract local residents with their retail, restaurant and entertainment options. To help lure in non-travelers, airports will in-part focus on wellness experiences to help visitors feel welcome and pampered — such as: yoga rooms, outdoor green spaces, gyms and even walking paths.

The Kunming Changshui International Airport in China is an example of such an airport. It includes two hotels, multiple transit connections and a roof that is designed to act like a canopy of leaves, “softly illuminating the concourse, reducing glare, and increasing passenger comfort.”

Uber Air skyports also incorporate these trends with co-working areas, retail and restaurant space, and micromobility and ride-hailing zones. Gensler recently unveiled a Los Angeles skyport design that would include fitness centers and even museums to help create a community feel.

Super Computers The “arms race” to build supercomputers will also contribute to the data center market growth.  National labs will continue their work to develop ever-faster supercomputers that can be used for everything from quantum mechanics to climate change research.

Patient-Doctor dynamic is expected to change in future smart cities thanks in part to increasingly tech-savvy patients who have greater choice in where and how they receive treatments, according to the report.

Data analytics will provide doctors with a holistic patient view, improving communication and personalized care plans

Many waiting rooms of the areas will transform from drab fluorescent-lit rooms to “active health and wellness concourses, where the community can access advice, participate in classes or connect with patients in support groups.”

Museums and libraries will continue to be pillars of inclusivity

Libraries will play an increasingly important role in the smart city. That role will include helping the community by promoting community service, learning through play and providing access to technology, according to the report. To help meet these new needs, the report suggests that libraries reconfigure their space to meet the changing ways people seek information.

Museums are advised to incorporate “gender-inclusive restrooms, railings, clear interpretive labels and navigational signage, and trigger warnings.”

 

National Museum Of African American Music opening The End Of 2019

MuseumRendering Courtesy of The National Museum of African American Music

 

The National Museum of African American Music is set to open near the end of 2019 on a date to be announced; a grand-opening ceremony will follow in 2020 in Nashville Tennessee

The museum is slated to occupy a 56,000-square-foot corner of the mixed-use Fifth + Broadway development, facing Bridgestone Arena on one side and the Ryman on the other. CEO Henry Beecher Hicks III and his team are focused on making the museum a place to look closely at the threads of black musicians’ influence and to follow them in the many directions they extend.

To serve that mission, the museum’s exhibits will be organized into five galleries. “Wade in the Water” tells the story of gospel music and its evolution into soul and other related genres, while “Crossroads” outlines the blues’ history and its effects on a huge variety of music. “A Love Supreme” traces the deep roots of jazz, while “One Nation Under a Groove” looks at R&B and its myriad offshoots, from funk to techno and beyond. “The Message” looks at how hip-hop became an integral part of the past four decades of popular music. 

Museum2Rendering Courtesy of The National Museum of African American Music

The story is massive, so patrons will have some navigational help from an app called Rivers of Rhythm (preview it at rofr.nmaam.org). It’s similar to a streaming music service — users can choose an artist, and the app will suggest other musicians to check out: those who influenced that artist, as well as others who were inspired by their work. 

The museum has about 1,000 artifacts in its collection now and expects to have some 1,400 by the time it opens. Items displayed at a media preview in August included movie posters, instruments and stage costumes.

In addition, some 25 technology-enhanced interactive features are planned, including one that will allow visitors to sing in a choir (with a little green-screen magic) under the direction of Nashville gospel legend Dr. Bobby Jones.

The Shut down

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More than 400,000 federal employees are working without pay, trash is overflowing in our National Parks, and the presidents of labor unions—one of which is suing President Trump—have said that requiring workers to punch in without pay is “nothing short of inhumane.”

There were still faint glimmers of civilization left in a divided, deadlocked Washington: the 19 Smithsonian Institution museums and galleries along the National Mall remained opened to the public for free due to unused “prior-year funds”; and the National Gallery of Art remained open as well. Even without a paycheck, government employees could check out the Apollo 11 command module at the National Air and Space Museum, the contemporary art in the permanent collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Chuck Berry’s sparkling Cadillac Eldorado at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, or Barack and Michelle Obama’s new portraits at the National Portrait Gallery.

The Library of Congress and the U.S. Botanic Garden—and the Capitol Visitor Center and Capitol Building, ironically—are operating as normal, since they were funded by the 2019 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill.

List of federal shutdowns

1980

On May 1, 1980, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was shut down for one day after Congress failed to pass an appropriations bill for the agency

1981, 1984, and 1986

On November 23, 1981, 241,000 federal employees were furloughed for one day.The shutdown occurred because President Ronald Reagan vetoed a spending bill that contained a smaller set of spending cuts than he had proposed. The shutdown was estimated to cost taxpayers $80–90 million in back pay and other expenses Not all government departments shut down during the funding gap.

On October 4, 1984, 500,000 federal employees were furloughed for one afternoon.This shutdown occurred due to the inclusion of a water projects package and a civil rights measure that Reagan opposed. The bill was passed the following day after Congress removed these programs, and also included a compromise on funding of the Nicaraguan Contras.

On October 17, 1986, 500,000 federal employees were furloughed for one afternoon over a wide range of issues. The cost was estimated at $62 million in lost work.

1990

The 1990 shutdown occurred over Columbus Day weekend, from Saturday, October 6 through Monday, October 8. The shutdown stemmed from the fact that a deficit reduction package negotiated by President George H. W. Bush contained tax increases, despite his campaign promise of “read my lips: no new taxes”,leading to a revolt led by then House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich that defeated the initial appropriations package

1995–1996

The two shutdowns of 1995 and 1995–96 were the result of conflicts between Democratic President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress over funding for Medicare, education, the environment, and public health in the 1996 federal budget. The government shut down after Clinton vetoed the spending bill the Republican Party-controlled Congress sent him. Government workers were furloughed and non-essential services suspended during November 14–19, 1995 (for 5 days), and from December 16, 1995, to January 6, 1996 (for 22 days), in total 27 days.

2013

Letter from President Barack Obama to US Government employees affected by the shutdown in 2013

The 2013 shutdown lasted 16 days, beginning on Tuesday, October 1, 2013. During the shutdown, approximately 800,000 federal employees were furloughed for 16 days, while another 1.3 million were required to report to work without known payment dates

January 2018

The first shutdown of 2018 began at midnight EST on Saturday, January 20. On January 19, a bill failed to pass the Senate 50–49 with the majority of Democrats voting “no”.Five Republicans voted “no” and five Democrats voted “yes” in the Republican majority senate (60 votes were required for passage). Senate Democrats insisted that the issue of immigration, specifically the funding of DACA, be addressed in the budget.

February 2018

A related funding gap occurred during the first 9 hours of Friday, February 9, 2018 EST. The funding gap was widely referred to in media reports as a second shutdown, although no workers were furloughed and government services were not disrupted because the funding gap occurred overnight and was resolved close to the beginning of the workday.

December 2018–January 2019

The third shutdown of 2018 began at midnight EST on Saturday, December 22 with a House-passed continuing resolution to fund the United States Government awaiting a full floor vote in the Senate. The point of contention was the inclusion of $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall that was a core Trump campaign promise.Under pressure from vocal members of his political base such as Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh for failing to secure the funding, Trump claimed ownership of the shutdown while in a televised meeting with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.This shutdown is ongoing as of January 2019.

Roughly 380,000 federal workers were placed on unpaid leave, while some 420,000 “essential” personnel were required to work without pay, including tens of thousands of workers in federal law enforcement and national security positions, such as FBI, Border Patrol, Secret Service and Transportation Security Administration agents. Hundreds of TSA agents at major airports called in sick during the second week of the shutdown, reportedly in protest or to pick up income elsewhere. The Washington Post reported on 4 January 2019 that the Trump administration had not anticipated the shutdown would be prolonged and were now grasping the consequences of an extended shutdown, including sharp reductions in SNAP payments and delays of $140 billion in tax refunds

Is Racism Becoming The Norm?

Racist Museum In China

A museum in China has removed an exhibit this week that showcased photographs of animals with portraits of black Africans, sparking complaints of racism.

The exhibit titled This Is Africa at the Hubei Provincial Museum in the city of Wuhan displayed a series of diptychs, each one containing a photo of an African person paired with the face of an animal. In a particularly striking example, a child with his mouth wide open was paired with a gorilla and other works included baboons and cheetahs.

The curator said exhibit was eventually removed after complaints by Africans, including some living in China, All the photographs were taken by Yu Huiping, a construction magnate who has traveled to Africa more than 20 times, has previously won awards for his work and is vice-chairman of the Hubei Photographers Association.

About 92% of the population belongs to the dominant Han ethnicity and ethnic minorities mostly live in the sporadically populated far west of the country. African countries are increasingly important trading partners, but cultural stereotypes dominate Chinese popular discourse on the continent.

 

New York City’s Cultural Future

Brooklyn Borough-Wide Workshop. Image courtesy of Hester Street Collaborative and Create NYC

Queens Borough-Wide Workshop. Image courtesy of Hester Street Collaborative and Create NYC.

New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA)a report detailing the results of roughly seven months of public engagement conducted in the lead up to the city’s forthcoming cultural plan. The agency engaged 188,000 New Yorkers—via focus groups, phone surveys, and hundreds of community events—in order to compile its brief.

The plan’s website Residents are also invited to provide in-person feedback at city-wide events through May 31st. DCLA commissioner Tom Finkelpearl says The responses will be “data points,” used to further refine the city’s first-ever cultural plan.

The Lucas Museum Of Narrative Art

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Actor George Lucas billion-dollar art museum is set to open in 2020, LosAngelas. The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will feature pieces from Lucas’ personal art collection, which includes work by traditional artists such as Norman Rockwell as well as more modern artists like comic book legend R. Crumb. The museum will also feature movie matte paintings, props, and memorabilia from Star Wars and other films.

Scientist Working on Technology To Help Read Unopened Books

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Scientists from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology have come together to develop a new technology that will allow users to read a book without even opening it. The results were published in the scientific journal, Nature Communications. Upon its use on a stack of newspapers with one letter printed on each, the system was able to identify the letters printed on the top nine sheets correctly. The scientists stated that the system could be useful to analyze any materials organized in thin layers, like on coatings on machine parts and others. The Metropolitan Museum in New York, think that the new system will be of monumental help in looking at some antique books that are too fragile even to touch.The system functions on a set of algorithms that read images from individual sheets of paper put up in a stack and interprets the distorted images from the stack as individual letters. A lot of websites have these letter certifications (captchas) to make sure you’re not a robot.

The system uses terahertz radiation, which unlike X-ray, can distinguish between printed and blank parts on paper. In the process, a terahertz camera emits ultrashort bursts of radiation, the reflections from which are picked up by the built-in sensor. The system can read the distance to the individual pages of a book from the time that a reflection takes to travel back to the sensor.

In its present stage, the system can only read up to nine pages in a stack correctly, beyond which the signals become too weak to interpret the results correctly.

Michelle Obama Presents Awards To 10 Libraries & Museums

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The medals are given each year to 10 cultural institutions for their  outstanding service to their  communities. The 21st annual event was held in the East Room of the White House.

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