Equity


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    Lathan Goumas | Virginia Sea Grant. (2023). "VASG Commonwealth Fellow Clay Ferguson" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Virginia Sea Grant.
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    9 climate resilience job training programs to launch with $60M from NOAA

    They will train workers for jobs in conservation, renewable energy, urban agriculture, green infrastructure, emergency preparedness and more, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said.

    By June 12, 2024
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    Prostock-Studio via Getty Images
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    Chicago tackles digital divide with $8M parks initiative

    Sixty parks will be outfitted with new infrastructure, city officials announced. The effort comes on the heels of the termination of the federal Affordable Connectivity Program.

    By June 11, 2024
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    jamesteohart via Getty Images
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    Trendline

    Top 5 stories from Smart Cities Dive

    From worsening climate change to a shifting transportation landscape and the housing affordability crisis, cities have their work cut out for them in 2024.

    By Smart Cities Dive staff
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    Brandon Bell via Getty Images
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    Deep Dive

    The heat is on. Contractors say they’re ready.

    Commercial construction firms aren’t waiting on OSHA’s much-anticipated heat standard to protect their workers.

    By Zachary Phillips • June 7, 2024
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    Stephen Chernin/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    Finding public bathrooms in New York City just got easier

    The city this week unveiled a Google Maps layer showing the locations of its public restrooms. 

    By June 7, 2024
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    Brian Snyder/Reuters

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    Deep Dive

    Heat safety laws for workers in Texas, Florida, Phoenix to be put to the test

    As summer begins, some states prevent cities from mandating water breaks. Still, there are commonsense practices to protect workers from soaring temperatures, safety officials say.

    By Zachary Phillips • May 28, 2024
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    Win McNamee via Getty Images
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    Brownfield clean-up job training programs can get $14M from EPA

    The federal agency also awarded over $300 million in grants to clean up polluted sites so communities can repurpose them into assets such as affordable housing and green space.

    By May 28, 2024
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    freemixer via Getty Images
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    Q&A

    This universal basic employment pilot aims to reduce poverty

    The CEO of the group spearheading the effort envisions running similar programs nationwide and, eventually, at the federal level. 

    By May 21, 2024
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    Mario Tama/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    Heat resilience research centers unveiled by Biden administration

    Most governments have historically lacked “a comprehensive or coordinated set of strategies to deal with heat and its impacts,” a center lead said. Applications for communities to get involved will open later this year. 

    By May 21, 2024
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    Svitlana Unuchko via Getty Images
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    How wide are funding gaps in some large metro school districts?

    The per-student funding disparity between wealthy and less wealthy districts in one community was more than $11,000. To reduce or eliminate funding inequities, a new study recommends ambitious policy changes.

    By Kara Arundel • May 21, 2024
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    Retrieved from City of San Antonio on YouTube on May 20, 2024
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    How cool pavement, heat risk data are helping a Texas city prep for summer

    With heat-related illness on the rise in San Antonio, “it’s critical that we direct resources to those most in need of relief,” said the city’s chief sustainability officer.

    By May 20, 2024
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images
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    OSHA heat standard clears regulatory hurdle

    A committee has unanimously recommended that the agency advance a rule to protect construction workers from high temperatures.

    By Zachary Phillips • May 14, 2024
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    Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    FEMA alters how it calculates costs, benefits of disaster resilience projects

    The changes will address longstanding barriers that underserved communities have faced in accessing grants, the agency says.

    By May 14, 2024
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    Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    How tracking homelessness in real time ‘by name’ can guide local action

    Federally mandated annual “point-in-time” counts paint a picture of homelessness in broad strokes. But some communities are collecting information to understand what happens in between.

    By May 3, 2024
  • The flag of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hangs outside the agency building in Washington, D.C.
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
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    EPA unveils environmental justice ‘clearinghouse’ with hundreds of resources

    The online library is an "excellent start" for municipal leaders looking to center environmental justice in their work, the National League of Cities’ sustainability director said.

    By May 2, 2024
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    THEPALMER via Getty Images
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    NYC fare-free bus experiment to end

    Although funding to continue the program was not included in the recently passed state budget, two lawmakers are looking to expand the program with new legislation.

    By Updated April 30, 2024
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    wip-studiolublin via Getty Images
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    A first-in-the-nation home repair program sees overwhelming demand

    A "gaping need" exists nationwide for programs that improve housing quality, said a senior research analyst at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

    By Kalena Thomhave • April 25, 2024
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    RiverNorthPhotography via Getty Images
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    To increase job access, try dedicated bus lanes, this study says

    Urban Institute researchers found that well-enforced bus lanes could reduce costs for transit agencies and help provide equitable access to employment opportunities.

    By April 25, 2024
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    Caroline Colvin/Smart Cities Dive
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    DOL’s ‘unprecedented,’ two-pronged overtime rule adds new HR wrinkles

    Employers must decide whether to incrementally comply with the rule’s salary threshold updates or move straight to compliance with the higher 2025 threshold, attorneys said.

    By Ryan Golden • April 25, 2024
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    Caroline Colvin/Smart Cities Dive
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    Labor Department will raise overtime salary threshold to $44K in July, $59K next year

    The final rule expands overtime pay eligibility to millions of U.S. workers, the department said.

    By Ryan Golden • April 25, 2024
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    xphotoz via Getty Images
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    EPA awards $7B to 60 low-income solar access programs

    The funds will support community solar programs as well as initiatives to provide loans and grants to low-income households looking to install rooftop solar, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    By Emma Penrod • April 24, 2024
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    Courtesy of Kenworth
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    California’s clean-truck rules: a fleet owner’s view

    Although the state’s rules face legal pushback from trucking interests and 19 states, one pioneering fleet owner found surprising benefits as he began buying heavy-duty electric trucks.

    By April 23, 2024
  • A head-on view of a Bay Area Rapid Transit, train pases residential and commercial building on an elevated track.
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
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    Transit riders with disabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area to see accessibility improvements

    The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District settled a lawsuit brought by disability rights advocates and agreed to repair, renovate and clean station elevators and escalators.

    By April 22, 2024
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    Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    Air quality data is now widely available, but what should communities do with it?

    With air quality sensors now costing as little as $100, some communities are hoping for more federal guidance on how to use them to support decision-making and regulation. 

    By April 19, 2024
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    Spencer Platt/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    You’ve heard of the Peace Corps? Meet the Economic Recovery Corps.

    The first 65 fellows are bringing planning, development, entrepreneurship, public administration and other relevant experience to projects in U.S. host communities.

    By Iulia Gheorghiu • April 17, 2024
  • A parking space painted with "EV charging only" with a charger behind it
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    Mario Tama/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    5 ways cities can accelerate EV charger deployments equitably

    Seek community input, learn from other cities, reduce regulatory barriers and other ideas from participants in the DOE’s Clean Energy to Communities Program.

    By Iulia Gheorghiu • April 12, 2024