scooters
The Motorised Scooter of 1959 Was Cool as Hell

Electric scooters are all the rage here in the 21st century, with companies like Lime, Bird, and even Uber dumping them in cities around the world. But our generation obviously didn’t invent the motorized scooter. If you needed any evidence, just check out this film from the Chicago Film Archives showing off the “skooter” of 1959. Read More >>

elon musk
Elon Musk Says High-Speed Subway Test Tunnel Will Open December in L.A.

Elon Musk has announced that the test tunnel for his high-speed subway concept will officially open in Los Angeles on December 10. Musk, who made the promise on Twitter last night, said that the public will even get free rides on the roughly 2-mile test route the following day, Tuesday, December 11. Read More >>

art
George Lucas Is Taking His Museum Away from Chicago

After a prolonged battle with San Francisco’s NIMBY empire, George Lucas announced two years ago that he would take his giant filmmaking museum project to the friendlier shores of Chicago. Now, after yet another long and protracted battle with Chicago’s NIMBYs, he’s abandoning his plans there, too. Read More >>

architecture
Chicago Might Plug its Giant Hell Pit With a Highway-Straddling Skyscraper

Nearly a decade ago a giant hole was punched into the Chicago landscape and subsequently abandoned. Here’s a plan to make that hole a lot less holey. Read More >>

locations
Chicago Skyscrapers ‘Raining Glass’ After Scary High Winds

Buildings were evacuated in downtown Chicago yesterday afternoon as 69-mph wind gusts whipped glass out of under-construction skyscrapers, smashing them into nearby buildings and shattering them onto streets below. Read More >>

cars
Ford Is Finally Thinking Beyond Cars

Cars were a great idea until they started to destroy civilisation. Now the inventor of that technology is busy working on the next big transportation idea, one that might not kill us all. Yes, the American automaker is spending big bucks to help you get around—even if it’s not in a Ford. Read More >>

locations
These Parks Are Reclaiming Ugly Urban Underpasses as Public Space

Manhattan’s rails-to-trails High Line sparked a global trend of turning old transit infrastructure into parks. But a new breed of public spaces aren’t waiting for the transportation around them to stop running—they’re transforming the ground below the still-active elevated tracks. Read More >>

history
Beautiful Pieces of the 1893 World’s Fair Discovered in Chicago Storage Facility

The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition was the prototypical World’s Fair. It brought together wonders of engineering, the latest technologies and consumer products, and music and art from far-off lands. Sadly, almost all of its buildings are no more—but in Chicago, three lovely fragments of one have resurfaced. Read More >>

design
The Best Typeface Apple Ever Had

It was square, squat, and inherently cute. It was friendly. It was easy to use. I'm talking about the beige box with the blue grinning face that came to live with us in 1985. But I'm also talking about the font that came with it. Read More >>

research
Even Researchers are Using Google Street View to Measure Gentrification

Google Street View is an excellent way to watch your neighbourhood change. In fact, we've conducted our own informal surveys of urban transformation in Detroit, San Francisco, and Brooklyn. While our investigations were based on casual observation, now a pair of sociologists from Harvard are using Google Street View data to measure gentrification—and predict if those trends will continue. Read More >>

watch this
This Time-Lapse Captures a Spectacular Lightning Storm in Chicago

This time-lapse was made during the big storm that hit Chicago last Monday. The dark clouds moving fast and the lightning strikes on the skyscrapers remind me of that scene from Ghostbusters where the city is possessed. Anyway, it's reassuring to know that Chicago can take it and everything still works fine. Read More >>

star wars
17 Works of Art That Will Hang in George Lucas’s New Museum

There was a great disturbance in the Force this week as George Lucas announced he's locating his new art museum in Chicago instead of San Francisco. But Lucas's art isn't all Millennium Falcon models: there are some seriously fascinating pieces in his collection, all themed around the concept of storytelling. Read More >>

cities
Chicago’s New Lamp Posts Will Track Pollution and Count People

The walls—or lamp posts, at least—have ears. Chicago is rolling out some new street furniture, and it will be able to measure air quality, monitor noise and even count pedestrians. Read More >>

humour
There’s a Joker Repairing Chicago’s Horrible Potholes With Mosaics

As a transplant Chicagoan, one of my favourite daily rituals is calling 311 to report the potholes that make my street un-driveable. Fellow Chicagoan and artist Jim Bachor is taking a more proactive approach: he's repairing them, but also turning them into tiny little jokes. Read More >>