NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

By signing up to our newsletter, you agree to our terms.

Problem Solving Must-Reads: Smart Furniture to Reduce Ambulance Emissions

Plus: Major cities are banning diesel vehicles, and Sacramento provides portable bathrooms to the homeless

In New York, ambulances are stationed through the city, engines running, ready at a moment’s notice to go wherever they’re needed. This practices greatly reduces response time, saving lives. However, it also greatly increases the damage done to the environment by rescue vehicles. For every hour of idling, an ambulance goes through 1.5 gallons of gas, emits, 33 pounds of CO2, and even causes engine wear equivalent to up to 50 miles of driving.

Recognizing the environmental damage being done, the FDNY is planning to install “street furniture” to address the problem. Narrow posts, installed where ambulances typically idle, will allow ambulances to plug directly into the power grid rather than idling their engines. The easy-plug system will allow them to remain at the ready, maintaining their low response times while greatly reducing the 45 tons of pollution that ambulances currently produce just from idling.

The new street furniture is part of an ongoing effort across the country to make our streets smarter. Previous installations have included more attractive street trash cans and improved public benches. Certainly, the ambulance outlets will have the biggest direct environmental impact, but the overall movement towards smarter public facilities is a step in the right direction.

Read the full story at NextCity.

Here’s what else we’re reading:

Sacramento Brings Bathrooms to the Homeless

For many people experiencing homelessness, just using the bathroom is a daily challenge. Most public establishments won’t let them in, forcing many to use alleys and sidewalks rather than proper facilities. To help them, and to help clean the streets, Sacramento has begun setting up portable bathrooms, complete with sinks and air conditioning, to help restore hygiene and dignity to some of their homeless population. (via Sacramento Bee)

Four Major Cities to Ban Diesel Vehicles

Photo: City Lab

The World Health Organization estimates that 3 million people die prematurely each year due to air pollution. That’s one reason why four of the largest cities in the world—Mexico City, Paris, Madrid, and Athens—have all agree to ban diesel-emitting vehicles from their streets by 2025 as part of a larger package of climate-change measures. The cities plan to work with auto manufacturers to help make the ban successful. (via CityLab)

The Philadelphia Citizen will only publish thoughtful, civil posts. We want to be a communal space. But that doesn’t mean you have a First Amendment right to be an idiot. Send us an insulting, offensive and/or wildly off-topic comment and not only will we refrain from posting it -- we will laugh at you before we hit delete.

Recent Tweets
@THEPHILACITIZEN

@thephilacitizen @@thephilacitizen
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Feeling inspired and ready to help? Find ways to get involved with The Citizen's "Do Something" guides. https://t.co/i5ORUIqQNc 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
It's spring! Read about urban gardening in Philly. https://t.co/tSpugeWNVJ 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Philly startup @neuroflow1 is changing the way veterans and mental health professionals diagnose PTSD https://t.co/AbcG0PfvPl 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Closing the generation—and employment—gap with the Refugee Urban Farm in South Philly. https://t.co/66wwl275Om 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
WURD's @Cdellison takes on Tuesday's voter turnout, which, while a bit better, is hardly anything to celebrate: https://t.co/aakojzyImf 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
North Philly mom of seven wins The Citizen's $5,000 Voter Lottery. Watch the giveaway: https://t.co/ftiIihhsAu 🙌🏾 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
J.P. Romney on how Philly's bizarro ward system affects the way we vote: https://t.co/AOX4bULRhA #yourcitydefined 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Larry Platt on the archaic system we use to elect judges: https://t.co/FShpXjewIp 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Stop all the back-patting. We just let 11 percent of the city’s population tell us what to do and how to live: https://t.co/aakojzyImf 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
We’re Hiring! Join our team as a Special Events Coordinator. #JobsPHL https://t.co/qi2XBvUtNA 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Using a Shark Tank format, Penn students pitch their social innovation projects that they think could improve PHL: https://t.co/6FmjpsPgxT 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Really? Turnout was good? We just let 11 percent of the city’s population tell us what to do and how to live 🤔… https://t.co/7cf36HVKWk 

LOAD MORE

Be a Citizen Editor

Suggest a Story