A small town in Washington is printing its own currency during the pandemic

Performed by: Town Hall Tenino, Washignton, EUA

Country: United States

What happens when a city creates its own social currency? In a bid to lessen the blow of Covid-19, the town of Tenino has started issuing its own wooden dollars that can only be spent at local businesses.

Wayne Fournier, the mayor, decided that Tenino would set aside $10k to give out to low-income residents hurt by the pandemic. But instead of using federal dollars, he’d print the money on thin sheets of wood designed exclusively for use in Tenino. His mint? A 130-year-old newspaper printer from a local museum. Fournier’s central idea is pulled straight from Tenino’s own history.

During the Great Depression, the city printed sets of wooden dollars using that exact same 1890 newspaper printer. Within a year, the wooden currency had helped bring the economy back from the dead.

By reinstating the old currency now, Fournier has accidentally become part of a much bigger movement. With businesses worried about keeping the lights on and people scrambling to find spending money, communities have struggled to keep their local economies afloat. So they’ve revived an old strategy: When in doubt, print your own money. Today, these so-called “local currencies” might help small communities recover from the economic fallout of Covid-19.


Milan announces plan to encourage cycling and walking after end of confinement

Performed by: Milan Government

Country: Italy

Milan’s administration announced city plan ‘Strade Aperte’ (Open Street, translated literally) for mobility and the use of public space in post lockdown caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The city announced that 35 km of its streets will be transformed during the European summer to encourage travel on foot, by bicycle and scooter to optimize the use of public space. Among the measures provided for in the plan are the creation of new cycle paths, an increase in the number of roads with moderate speed and the expansion of pedestrian paths through the increase of sidewalks. I

n addition, the plan also seeks to facilitate the possibility of placing tables for bars and restaurants in external public areas, in order to recover part of the capacity lost inside the establishments due to the spacing restrictions.


French government releases financial package to encourage cycling after quarantine ends

Performed by: French Government

Country: France

In April 2020, French government announced the creation of a 20 million euro fund to encourage the French population to use bicycles in the post-quarantine period of the Coronavirus.

The fund’s money, administered by the Ministry of Ecological and Inclusive Transition, will be used to pay an incentive of 50 euros per person for those who want to finance repairs to their bikes. The amount will also be used to support the costs of installing temporary bicycle parking spaces and to provide training for those who wish to learn how to ride a bicycle safely.


Amsterdam to embrace ‘doughnut’ model to mend post-coronavirus economy

Performed by: Amsterdam City Hall

Country: Netherlands

Dutch authorities and British economist Kate Raworth, from the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute, use a guide created by the economist to help the city prosper after a pandemic. The model aims to seek a balance between the economic needs of countries, cities and people and the available environmental resources.

Google shows where quarantines are being respected

Performed by: Google

Country: Global

Google is using location data collected from smartphones to help health officials understand how people are moving during the global Covid-19 pandemic, that is, how they are behaving in response to requests for isolation, physical distance and home-office.

The location data shared by its users is used to produce what it calls “Community Mobility Reports”, created to help the authorities to know if the population is following the recommendations of social distance during the pandemic.

Information is based on data that is already voluntarily shared by users and used to indicate movement in stores and other locations on Google Maps.


Portugal gives migrants and asylum-seekers full citizenship rights during coronavirus outbreak

Performed by: Government of Portugal

Country: Portugal

In March 2020, the government of Portugal determined that all immigrants with residence permit applications pending with the Foreigners and Borders Service will have access to the same rights as all other citizens, including social support. The measure also covers asylum seekers.