Our Software Development team are currently participating in #HackForBetterDays, a virtual Hackathon organised by HERE Technologies in partnership with IBM, running from 24 April - 24 May 2020. HERE Technologies provide mapping, location data and other related services to business and individuals focused around a cloud-based platform.
You know the old saying “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone?” This struck me hard last week while observing a parent out biking with their three young kids. The look of sadness mixed with fear and disbelief on their faces two large trucks and several other vehicles raced past reminded me of what we lost in Level 3, in the excitement of being able to head out for fast food and coffee. It was pleasing to see that the family felt confident enough to ride on the road, but you couldn’t help but wonder how long they would continue doing so with the return of fast-moving traffic through the local streets.
As New Zealand heads out of Level 3 into Level 2, this gives us an opportunity to reflect on how this has affected our road networks at both Level 4 and Level 3. This follows up on our previous blog and is based on an assessment of a selection of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency traffic count data.
With the financial and economic impacts of Covid-19 still only starting to become apparent, central government and primary industries (agriculture, horticulture, seafood and forestry) are relatively unaffected by the global impacts of the pandemic. Government can extend its debt ceiling theoretically indefinitely, while primary industries feed, shelter and clothe the world.
The notion of what is possible in Transport Planning is currently being redefined. In recent weeks, cities and towns around the world have shown that significant change can happen everywhere and instantly, irrespective of local legal and administrative specificities. Temporary transport schemes have already transformed places and are laying the ground for more permanent change. Tactical Urbanism is the most visible sign of this trend, but the wider toolbox displayed by local authorities around the globe to allow physical distancing also includes less flashy changes.
We have all observed the increased number of people walking and cycling around our neighbourhoods during the lockdown. From the stories I have heard, people who haven’t previously walked or cycled much are loving it. The other day, a friend who lives nearby and doesn’t usually ride a bike, sent our family an SOS text asking “can I please borrow a bike, I want to cruise around”. It's awesome to see so many people actively getting out to explore their local area.
The annual Safe Software FME World Tour had a new look and feel this year as the world concentrates its efforts against Covid-19. FME (otherwise known as Feature Manipulation Engine) is a leading data integration platform with support for spatial data worldwide.
As New Zealand enters our third week of lockdown, I'm sure there's a few people out there, like me, who are going a bit stir crazy. The desire to get out and expand your horizons is palpable, and yet with lockdown this just isn’t possible. Being close to a park makes lockdown more bearable. The open green space is a great place to go for exercise, with appropriate social distancing.
For many people, the COVID-19 lockdown has allowed us to spend time walking around our neighbourhood. This may be the first opportunity you have had to spend time exploring your local area for some time. Those of you who are parents, like me, may be exploring the local area by going on a bear hunt. I even go out on walks with superheroes these days!