As part of a visionary 5-year plan to achieve a car-free city center, Madrid is restructuring its 24 busiest streets. While some street space will be reserved for bus and bicycle lanes, most will be dedicated to pedestrians and will be shaded by rows of trees. | Via Travel + Leisure
London. Via T+L (www.travelandleisure.com). Lord Norman Foster, architect and cyclist, kicked off 2014 by proposing the construction of SkyCycle, 136 miles of elevated bike paths soaring above London along the city's vast network of suburban rail lines.
Last month, Luminoso, a text-analysis start-up, scanned 150,000 Twitter posts for mentions of five airlines, then ranked the companies based on flyer sentiments. Echoing our own readers' choices for the 2014 World's Best Awards, Virgin America and JetBlue came in first and second. Via T+L (www.travelandleisure.com).
Shrinking Boston. Via T+L (www.travelandleisure.com). An exhibit at the Boston Public Library compares the modern city with the Boston of a century ago. One surprising revelation: even with a steady influx of immigrants in the past ten years, the city still has not regained its 1910 record-high population of more than 670,000.
Venice. Via T+L (www.travelandleisure.com). In March, a ban forbidding the largest cruise ships from entering Venice was lifted, leading to renewed protests by concerned citizens and scientists who claim that the mega ships erode the city’s delicate waterways and ecosystem.
Seven years ago as part of an experiment, world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell went virtually unnoticed as he played in a Washington, D.C. Metro station. This month, Bell played an encore for a more appreciative crowd at the city’s Union Station. Via T+L (www.travelandleisure.com).