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CityLab Daily: Earth Day Changed How We View Cities

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Deep breaths: When the first Earth Day took place on this day in 1970, cities weren’t seen as good for the planet. Protesters wore gas masks to emphasize how urban life detached people from nature, industrialized cities had very visible air and water pollution, and New York City was seen as an “ecological nightmare.” But those initial demonstrations launched a movement that produced agencies and laws to tackle the environmental problems concentrated in cities. As CityLab’s Laura Bliss wrote of the day’s roots in 2015, Earth Day started the ideological shift that would later see cities as more environmentally friendly.