Monocle showcased 10 global policy initiatives worth adopting. Here they are:
(1) Senior Service – Fixer-Sven in Stockholm sends a “friendly chap who shuttles between houses fixing practical problems free of charge” for citizens over 75. “There are also moves to outsource care of the elderly to countries with sunny weather, lower living costs, and a habit of respecting the old,” with several Norwegian cities already outsourcing to southern Spain.
(2) The Flat Pack – Estonia and other emerging European nations have adopted a flat tax of 26 percent on individual and corporate income.
(3) Clear Vision – Sao Paulo has banned all outdoor advertising — billboards, advertising on trains and uses, posters and even flyers.
(4) People Power – Germany requires power companies to allow independent energy producers and to pay them 50 cents per kilowatt hours for it. The law “changed the economics of solar power overnight.”
(5) Green Light – Plant trees and green roofs to reduce greenhouse gases and encourage better behavior. [Better still, make your city walkable.]
(6) Rubbish Idea – Adopt Zurich’s smart rubbish and recycling bins, two-thirds of which are below the pavement, yielding a neat and unobtrusive container.
(7) Public Pool – Genoa’s car sharing scheme offers 24-hour availability, use of bus lanes and preferential parking.
(8) Treasure Hunt – Japan is conferring National Treasure status on its most highly prized buildings, works of art and practitioners of arts and crafts.
(9) Skill School – National service can mean building skills in necessary skills, such as waste management, aircraft maintenance and infrastructure construction.
(10) Smart Security – Do security barriers have to be so ugly? Monocle editors don’t thing so. They cite the Tiger Trap as ideal. Covered in grass, it includes an unobtrusive perimeter wall and pressure-activated sensors that trigger the floor to give way in an emergency.