The bidding war for Amazon’s second headquarters wrapped up this week with a bunch of stunts by mayors across North America that should make their citizens profoundly ashamed. While HQ2 will bring jobs, it will also bring social problems that many of these mayors are not preparing for — check out issue #3
for more — but I was happy to see Ontario, at least, say it would not offer Amazon financial incentives.
A really scary report on the death toll of global pollution also came out this week, and it should have us all worried. Even those who are skeptical about whether or not greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet should want to reduce them to keep millions of people from dying every year; and if we’re really to take this problem seriously, we need to get all cars, not just EVs, out of our cities as soon as possible.
Finally, Toronto is teaming up with Google to redevelop a section of its eastern waterfront with the goal of showing how technology can enhance urban life, but there are really big questions about what’s really motivating Google’s involvement in the project. Is the tech monopoly really dedicated to improving our cities, or is it responding to its insatiable thirst for data by trying to become the private platform for urban services? That doesn’t sound like a positive outcome to me.