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What We’re Following
Where have you bin: They say never let a crisis go to waste, and in Japan, that’s almost literal. After a chemical weapons attack in 1995, trash cans disappeared from many public spaces. It’s a common precaution taken for a period of time after a terrorist incident, but in Japan, most of the bins never returned. Despite initial fears of an uptick in litter, the move seemed to gel well with a general culture of tidiness in Japanese urban life.
The bins are starting to return, though, partly to accommodate tourists. Residents of Japan produce half as much domestic waste per-capita as Americans, and they’ve found ways to dispose of paper towels, cigarette butts, and yes, dog poop. As trash cans return, they’re being designed with security in mind—and if you’re walking the streets of Tokyo, you might even spot Mangetsu-man, an anti-litter superhero who’s dispatched to keep things clean. Today on CityLab: Carefully, Japan Reconsiders the Trash Can
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What We’re Reading
HUD moves to roll back protections for homeless transgender people (Politico)
New York has a supervillain pulling emergency brakes and ruining commutes (Jalopnik)
The Boring Company has found its first customer: Las Vegas (The Verge)
How industrial design became a model for the modern home (Curbed)
Opinion: America’s cities are unlivable. Blame wealthy liberals. (New York Times)