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Atlas Obscura

Lola Mendez

3 January 2019

San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala

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San Pedro La Laguna, a town in Guatemala, has banned single use plastics including plastic bags and straws after realizing that plastic pollution was ruining the ecosystem of Lake Atitlan and that a new waste facility...

Christian Science Monitor

Christa Case Bryant

3 January 2019

Sanford, Maine, United States

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When China, the country that processes much of the United State's recyclables, became much more stringent about how much contaminated recycling it would accept, municipalities had to figure out how to avoid the fines ...

Yes! Magazine

Deonna Anderson

2 January 2019

Seattle, Washington, United States

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In a post-Standing Rock economic era, cities like Seattle and Philadelphia look to the Bank of North Dakota as an example of a successful public banking structure. While public banking is a large undertaking for many ...

CityLab

Tracey Lindeman

27 December 2018

Oslo, Norway

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Norway's incentives for buyers of electric vehicles have been incredibly successful: half of all cars sold in the country are now either hybrid or completely electric. However, there is concern that success won't last...

Reason

Christian Britschgi

14 November 2018

California, United States

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In California, Proposition 103 – a decades-old ballot initiative – disincentivizes homeowners affected by wildfires to rebuild in less fire-prone zones. The proposition – which can only be reversed through another bal...

OZY

Kizito Makoye

13 November 2018

Tanzania

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800-1500 Words

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Indigenous people in Tanzania are using “legal expertise, political pressure and smart solutions like land mapping to win back plots — and then secure them — from corporations they accuse of using loopholes to grab te...

BBC

Sam Judah

6 November 2018

Kenya

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Over 15 Minutes

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Countries across the world are aiming to reduce their plastic waste. African countries, however, are leading the way with a variety of techniques. Kenya in particular has taken one of the most drastic approaches by ha...

Scalawag

Michael Cooper

15 October 2018

North Carolina, United States

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1500-3000 Words

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Twenty years ago, five, poor, rural counties sued the state of North Carolina for failing to provide students with a good education, and won. In 1997 the Chief Justice Supreme Court judge ruled in favor of the plainti...

Chicago Reporter

Jessica Pupovac

Kari Lydersen

14 October 2018

Illinois, United States

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In 2017, Illinois passed a bill to re-establish the Women’s Correctional Services Division in response to the disproportionate level of discipline handed out to female inmates and in an effort to create more trauma-in...

Apolitical

Jennifer Guay

11 October 2018

Barcelona, Spain

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With tourism on the rise, governments are figuring out how to limit overcrowding and environmental damage. Replicable ideas include marketing beaches and other attractions off the beaten path, regulating hotels and va...

Public Radio International

Allison Herrera

9 October 2018

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Radio

5-15 Minutes

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Hotel workers and members of the union, Unite Here, successfully lobbied for a law that makes it mandatory for hotels in Chicago to provide a safety device, known as a panic button, to workers. The ordinance also in...

CityLab

Linda Poon

28 September 2018

San Francisco, California, United States

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A program in San Francisco to help small-businesses win government contracts is scaling to cities across the United States and Canada as more entrepreneurs look for ways to partner with government instead of just disr...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

25 September 2018

Liverpool, England

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When it comes to helping H.I.V. patients, Britain's National Health Service is able to keep prices for treatment much lower than the United States does by encouraging the use of generic drugs. The National Health Serv...

The Seattle Times

Vianna Davila

20 September 2018

San Francisco, United States

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San Francisco is following through on a controversial, aggressive plan to move people experiencing homelessness from encampments and tents, responding to complaints that the city's growing number of homeless people a...

Vermont Public Radio

Nina Keck

Liam Elder-Connors

5 September 2018

Fair Haven, Vermont, United States

Podcast

Over 15 Minutes

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When it’s discovered that someone is planning a mass shooting, what are the possible responses? Can those individuals be prosecuted? How do states balance personal liberty and public safety? These are all questions th...

Public Radio International

Rebecca Collard

22 August 2018

Bekka Valley, Lebanon

Multi-Media

5-15 Minutes

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The Lebanese parliament has started considering whether to legalize cannabis for medical use. The move would raise much-needed funds and create state-sanctioned jobs, according to McKinsey consulting firm. The governm...

New Atlas

Rich Haridy

14 August 2018

United States

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France, Italy, Germany, and now the U.S. are passing “anti-stress” laws, which make it illegal or harder for workers to receive emails after work. Research shows that when employees expect to be contacted after work t...

The New York Times Magazine

Nick Confessore

14 August 2018

California, United States

Multi-Media

Over 3000 Words

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Alastair Mactaggart, decided he had enough off companies like Facebook and Google, which make trillions of dollars from collecting private data from users. While the U.S. has made attempts to regulate consumer privacy...

Yale E360

Vanina Harel

9 August 2018

Mauritius

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Over 15 Minutes

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The island of Mauritius off the coast of Africa was once a prime destination for fishing and healthy coral reefs. However, the region deteriorated due to issues plaguing many coastal communities such as overfishing an...

NPR

Joanna Kakissis

7 August 2018

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Radio

5-15 Minutes

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In Amsterdam, a unique set of problems has a unique set of solutions. Overcrowding by rowdy tourists is threatening a normal, peaceful lifestyle for native residents. The city’s solution is twofold: first, government ...

The New York Times Magazine

Nathaniel Rich

1 August 2018

United States

Multi-Media

Over 3000 Words

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In the late 1970s to late 1980s, activists, scientists, and politicians began to address the climate change crisis. For a decade, they attempted to ask the U.S. to commit to an international agreement to reduce emiss...

ProPublica

Melissa Sanchez

Elliott Ramos

26 July 2018

Chicago, Illinois, United States

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When Chicago raised the fee for not having a vehicle sticker, the move seemed like a way to raise revenue without punishing compliant drivers. But now, thanks in part to racial disparities in policing, thousands of mo...

Christian Science Monitor

Grace Elletson

25 July 2018

Rwanda

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Through a myriad of policies that help small farmers gain resources and training, as well as inheritance laws that empower women to inherit land they previously couldn't own, Rwanda is increasing food security and dec...

Next City

Rachel Kaufman

23 July 2018

St. Louis, Missouri, United States

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New guidelines to help cities manage bike-share programs, based on feedback from 60 cities, could be the key to success for dockless vehicles. The guidelines include recommendations about permits and fines, ways to co...

CityLab

Mary Hui

20 July 2018

Hong Kong, China

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Excessive noise, particularly from street performers, can sound the demise of pedestrian zones. After 18 years, Sai Yeung Choi Street South will reopen to cars. Another solution could have been better noise regulation...

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