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Jan 18, 2023 Read in Browser

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"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." --John Maynard Keynes

Hello everyone! Knowing the value of ‘unlearning and relearning’ has never been more relevant. When we let go of what we assume is true, and open our minds to what is possible, something new can come forth. In our stories this week, we learn about a Jersey city that has reduced traffic deaths to zero, a café that created jobs for people with Down syndrome, and how a man used his inheritance to purchase a piano for a gifted and talented 11-year-old prodigy. These stories invite us to a more expansive space of kindness and benevolence. May we meet the challenges of ‘unlearning and relearning’ with uncommon grace and greater ease. Wishing you well!


How Jersey City Got To Zero Traffic Deaths On Its Streets

How Jersey City Got To Zero Traffic Deaths On Its Streets

John Surico | Bloomberg CityLab

Jersey City, New Jersey, US, is bucking recent trends when it comes to traffic safety; after committing to Vision Zero, it has achieved zero traffic fatalities. Vision Zero is the international traffic safety framework that adopts a zero fatalities goal. Jersey City has achieved this milestone thanks to the support of local leaders, including the mayor, and some innovative practices. The city has been proactive, piloting traffic safety improvements, like mini-roundabouts, and then implementing them without a lot of bureaucracy involved. They also took advantage of decreased traffic during the pandemic to make changes to roadways that would have been more difficult under regular circumstances. The city also partnered with Via, an on-demand shared transit service, to pilot bringing in this service in safety-enhancing ways. "A lot of other cities have said to these companies, 'Come and do whatever you can to fix our transit," said Barkha Patel, the city's director of infrastructure. "But we wanted to be intentional when we cocreated it with Via. We didn't just want a bunch of vans clogging downtown." Read Full Story.

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Poland And Ukraine To Open "Energy Bridge" Linking Electricity Grids

Poland And Ukraine To Open

Andrey Metelev | Unsplash

Plans to connect the Polish and Ukrainian electrical networks were made in the wake of Russia's of Ukraine. Now, in the first quarter of 2023, they will become reality. The line will make it "possible to export energy from Ukraine to Poland" but also "to import energy from Poland in the future in case of problems in Ukraine." A line had previously run between Khmelnytskyi and Rzeszów. It was closed in the mid-1990 but could not be restored because of current standards and requirements.  Read Full Story.

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First Cafe Employing People With Down Syndrome To Open In Polish City

First Cafe Employing People With Down Syndrome To Open In Polish City

Michał Parzuchowski | Unsplash

Nonprofit Społeczna 21 aims to create jobs for people with Down syndrome. The company already runs an online handicraft shop and a food truck selling French fries. Its newest project is Społeczna Kaffka, a cafe. "We believe that the creation of more such places will contribute to improving the quality of life of our workers, as well as broadening their competences." Professional independence will help them to secure a good life even after the death of their parents. There are more benefits: similar to therapy, these jobs help them overcome fears, feel needed, and find meaning in life. Read Full Story.

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Successful Carbon Capture System Installed In A High-Rise New York City Apartment Building

Successful Carbon Capture System Installed In A High-Rise New York City Apartment Building

Dana Andreea Gheorghe / Unsplash

In a city where buildings generate around 70 percent of carbon emissions, a company has successfully achieved carbon capture in a 30-story high-rise New York City apartment building. Carbon Quest has achieved this by redirecting the gas emitted from the boilers that burn fossil gas to create steam that heats the building, then isolating the carbon dioxide from the nitrogen and oxygen. The nitrogen and oxygen then gets released back out the flue while the carbon dioxide gets cooled to a liquid state and stored in a metal tank. The liquid carbon later gets sold to a concrete factory that uses the greenhouse gas by injecting it into concrete blocks, making them sturdier. By using the profits from selling the liquid carbon, Josh London, senior vice president in charge of building operations at the privately held company that owns the 1930 Broadway apartment building, can avoid the penalties under Local Law 97, that charges buildings that emit carbon dioxide over a specific cap. This is a rare case of carbon capture that works and gives an economic payback. Installed earlier this year, CarbonQuest's first system has been running for months, catching 60 percent of the building's gas emissions at its current scale. Although still met with some controversy when there are electrification solutions with a better long-term outlook, CarbonQuest is enjoying a first-mover advantage while electrification of tall, high-rise buildings is still in the testing phase. "The biggest challenge for cities is in the built environment," said CarbonQuest President and CEO Shane Johnson. ​"This is not an easy problem. But it's also the one that can make the most impact." Read Full Story.

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11-Year-Old Pianist Receives Miracle Gift Of Grand Piano And Lessons

11-Year-Old Pianist Receives Miracle Gift Of Grand Piano And Lessons

Ebuen Clemente Jr | Unsplash

When Jude Kofie was 10 years old, he discovered a keyboard in the basement of his house and started playing a melody. He had never taken a piano lesson. But Jude has a talent, he can learn to play music by ear. Journalists took notice, and soon piano tuner, Bill Magnussen heard about Jude. He also learned that Jude's parents didn't have any money to support Jude's incredible talent, which Bill considers to be at Mozart's level. Bill decided to use money he inherited from his father to buy Jude a grand piano for $15,000. He is also paying for Jude's piano lesson and has promised to tune the piano once a month for the rest of his life.  Read Full Story.

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