You had a busy year, we know. And any free time you had to be reading things online was probably spent reading about the election. That’s perfectly justifiable. But hopefully in these last weeks of the year, you have a little time to relax, make a cup of tea, and open some new tabs in your browser. If you do, we’d like to recommend a few of these stories–as submitted by Co.Exist‘s staff.
Some are long reads, some are photo essays, some are just short stories about cool projects that we feel need more attention. All are worth more time than we think people gave them during the year. Can we interest you in a view inside the government program that makes Canada a pop-music powerhouse? What about a proposal for a global network of breast milk banks? Or a chance to win cash just by saving money? Just a few of the options we’re offering. Take a look.
1. Experimental City: How Rotterdam Became A World Leader In Sustainable Urban Design
Europe’s largest port—threatened by rising waters and a loss of its major industry—has reinvented itself as a playground for innovative thinkers who are trying to create a resilient city of the future.
2. Creating A Refugee-Ready, Refugee-Friendly World
The world—unstable, warming, and increasingly connected—needs not only to respond to this refugee crisis, but to be better prepared each and every time. Co.Exist‘s week of refugee stories looks at a few ideas for how.
3. We Need A New Social Contract Between Workers, Companies, And Society: Here Are Some Ideas
Having a job used to provide helpful benefits and a path to a stable life. Increasingly, it no longer does. So it’s time to rethink how we support and reward our workforce.
4. When Will Our Meat-Filled Diets Go Post-Animal?
We can’t sustain the number of animals it takes to feed the planet. But soon we will be able to grow as much meat as we want—without the animals involved at all.
5. How Canada’s Philanthropic Pop Industrial Complex Took Over The World
While U.S. musicians struggle to get by, a vast system of government grants keeps the Canadian music scene pumping out the hits. And it turns out, a vibrant music scene is a very good thing for a country to have.
6. U.S. Cities Want To Totally End Traffic Deaths—But There Have Been A Few Speed Bumps
U.S. cities have eagerly embraced the Vision Zero plan for a safety-focused redesign of city streets. But reaching the final goal will require overcoming a host of issues, from NIMBYism and racial tensions to tight city budgets.
7. The Long Game Wants To Make Saving Money As Fun As Buying A Lottery Ticket
What if you earned a weekly chance for a million bucks just by having money in a savings account?
8. It’s Time For A Global System Of Breast Milk Banks
Think of it more like an important drug: Universal breast-milk availability could avert more than 800,000 deaths of children per year. Milk banks are how we solve the problem.
9. This New Car-Free Neighborhood Redesigns Suburbia
A new development in Mannheim, Germany, is the ultimate walkable community.
10. What Will Happen To The Millions Of Dollars Donated To The Orlando Victims?
Breaking down the emotional decisions and cold, hard calculations behind compensating victims.
11. This Very, Very Detailed Chart Shows How All The Energy In The U.S. Is Used
Take a master’s level course in improving your energy literacy, down to the half a percent of our energy that we use to fly military jets.
12. This Brilliant Chair Solves The Inescapable Problem Of Being Too Hot Or Too Cold At Work
What if, instead of having to wear a sweater in the office in the summer, your chair kept you warm?
13. These Moving Photos Show The Moments Before Cyclists Were Killed By Cars
Drivers make biking an inherently risky form of commuting. These photos show just how risky—and how deadly cars can be.
14. Spending $1 Billion On Reducing Unintended Pregnancy Would Deliver $6 Billion To The Economy
A new report outlines how philanthropic dollars to birth control could lift millions out of poverty—but many foundations are hesitant to dive into the “politically sensitive” issue.
15. Trees Stop Climate Change—Can We Pay People To Stop Cutting Them Down?
New programs are offering the people who benefit most from cutting down trees to instead take a cash payment. And it seems to be a good investment.