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Thursday, June 13, 2024
EditorialsUp Front 10/07

Up Front 10/07

As debate trundles on between those that believe technology is the only way to beat climate change and those that believe we need to fundamentally change how we live, stories about new research and initiatives reach news desks every day. In one story, researchers at Bristol University have recently found that National and international policies restricting the pesticides that are most toxic to humans, have resulted in a reduction in suicides. Whilst in another, members of The Trust for Public Land in America have proved very creative in highlighting the need to conserve green space. Parking spaces scattered across US cities were occupied by potted trees, expanses of lawn and garden furniture in an effort to transform asphalt into green space – until the meter ran out. The organisers called it Park(ing) Day, as it turned out that by putting a coin in a parking meter you are leasing the space for any legal purpose. At least fifty parking spaces in San Francisco were ‘leased’ for themed mini-parks ranging from a ‘muscle plaza’ built by the owners of a sex shop, specialising in leather gear, to an urban agriculture park with a chicken run. Photographs showed stretches of downtown parking spaces occupied by flower pots and beautifully mown lawns, with people seated on park benches reading newspapers while taxis and trucks thundered past. It must have been nice for traffic wardens who could sit on a nice park bench waiting for a lessee’s late return to the meter – a nice break from hiding in a nearby doorway.

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