Boston expands fare-free bus service, smog lockdowns in New Delhi, and more


Good morning and welcome back to yet another roundup of what’s going on in the world today. Here’s the architecture, transportation, and art news you need to know:

Mayor Michelle Wu files order to make three Boston bus lines free to ride

Boston’s newly inaugurated Mayor Michelle Wu has filed an order seeking to use $8 million in newly disbursed federal funds to make three bus lines free to ride for the next two years. The three affected lines, the 23, 28 and 29 bus routes, all serve low-income areas that heavily rely on public transportation; the two-year trial period will allow the city to evaluate the program’s impact on ridership levels, service, and business development along the affected routes.

“I am excited to take this key step towards a brighter transit future,” said Mayor Wu in her announcement on November 17. “Building on the fare-free 28 bus pilot created by Mayor Janey, we will expand access to transit across our neighborhoods, connecting more people to their schools, places of worship, small businesses, and community centers—and easing congestion on our bus riders and drivers alike. With stronger ties between our communities, we’ll reshape the boundaries of what’s possible in our city.”

Lockdowns are ordered after India’s capital is smothered in toxic clouds

The Indian capital of New Delhi is currently buried under clouds of toxic fumes, and the Indian Supreme Court has ordered factories and power plants to shut down, school closures, office restrictions, and temporarily banned trucks, among other emergency measures. The move comes as both the Modi-led national government and local New Delhi administration have been accused of inaction.

H/t to the New York Times

Architect Marina Tabassum is awarded the 2021 Soane Medal

Bangladeshi architect Marina Tabassum is the winner of the 2021 Soane Medal, an international honor that recognizes practitioners who further the importance of architecture in peoples’ day-to-day lives. Tabassum was honored for her sensitive, tactful, yet sustainable design work for low-income Bangladeshis and refugees—particularly the 2016 Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, which made prominent use of perforated brick walls to modulate light and air.

H/t to Dezeen

Starbucks and Amazon team up for their first collaborative store, but why?

Fast-casual giant Starbucks and internet commerce and hosting behemoth Amazon have opened their first joint store, a new retail outpost on 59th Street in Manhattan between Park and Lexington Avenues. Designed by Starbucks’ in-house team, what appears to be any other location features a new addition upon closer inspection—gated behind a glass wall lies an Amazon Go-branded shopping area for buying prepackaged food (and the sitting area, so if you want to enjoy your coffee or food in the store, you’ll need to enter Amazon’s turf). Starbucks is reportedly so confident in the idea that it’s already planning to open an additional two collaborative stores in New York before the end of 2022.

H/t to Fast Company

A Meta construction site is shut down over hateful graffiti for the second time in a week

Work on a data center expansion just outside of Salt Lake City for Facebook parent company Meta has reportedly been halted for the second time in a week. Construction administrator M.A. Mortenson Company has shut down the site until Friday and sent its workers home after discovering more racist graffiti at the $1 billion project site in Eagle Mountain, Utah. The company and Meta will beef up security at the site and implement new anti-harassment training and policies.

H/t to Construction Dive

Diller Scofidio + Renfro unveils a new exhibition at Manhattan’s Jewish Museum

From tomorrow, November 19, through May 15, 2022, visitors to the Jewish Museum in Upper Manhattan can catch The Hare with Amber Eyes, the singular story of a family across generations through an exhibition designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DSR). From the Ephrussi family’s rise in the 19th century through World War II when the family’s assets were seized by the Nazis, the show not only displays the art collected by the family (small carved Japanese netsuke sculptures) but the personal tales of the collectors themselves. The exhibition takes its name from the 2010 memoir of the Ephrussis by Edmund de Waal.


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