environment
The Radical Plan to Cool Down LA as the World Heats Up

It’s barely 10 a.m. on an August day in Hollywood, and the heat is already becoming oppressive. The temperature’s only 30℃, but in the direct sun it feels hotter—and it’s getting worse by the minute. Part of the reason is the ground. The black asphalt of this side street off Sunset Boulevard is sucking up the sun and radiating its heat back out. An infrared thermometer shows the surface temperature to be 44℃. By mid-day, it’ll rise above 65℃. Read More >>

architecture
Why Are American Cities So Much Different Than European Cities?

European cities like Paris are much, much older than American cities like New York, and that age difference has led to many interesting differences in the layout of each city. For example, the wealthy population of America often live in suburbs away from the city while in Europe, the rich live inside the city. Why is that? Read More >>

olympics
How Olympians Can Survive Swimming in Sewage

Rio’s water is vile — full of raw sewage and dead bodies — and later this week, humanity’s top athletes will plunge into this hellish stew for a jolly ol’ international sporting competition. Read More >>

transport
Hyperloop Connecting Helsinki and Stockholm Turns 300-Mile Trip Into 28 Minute Ride

Where will the first Hyperloop be? So far there are plans to use the tubular transportation system to move passengers in Slovakia and freight at the Port of Los Angeles. But a proposed application for the Hyperloop announced today could solve a transportation conundrum that has been challenging planners for centuries: Connecting the neighbouring nations of Sweden and Finland. Read More >>

animals
Turns Out, Hedgehogs Are At Home in Cities

Researchers at the University of Hamburg noticed that urban areas have higher populations of hedgehogs than rural areas, so they asked the question: what gives? Read More >>

cities
What Can UK Cities Learn From San Francisco’s Homelessness Project?

Back in May a coalition of editors from 70 newspapers, blogs, radio stations, and TV channels met to discuss how to “flood” San Francisco on a single day with coverage concerning issues around homelessness. (many other publications also published their own content independently). The San Francisco Chronicle has collected many of the stories on a separate section of its site, and you can also browse #SFhomelessproject. There are timelines, infographics, photo essays, videos, and many heart-wrenching stories about women and children living on the streets. Probably the worst part is seeing how bad the problem was in the '70s and '80s, and how it hasn’t grown better. Read More >>

facebook
Facebook’s New Gehry Building Includes the World’s Least Functional Bike Bridge

In 2012, Frank Gehry and Mark Zuckerberg posed for a series of photos that sealed their intertwined fates: Gehry, arguably the world’s most famous architect, would design a new campus for Zuckerberg, arguably the world’s most powerful not-lizard person. Surely with all this money and talent coalescing like a hunk of molten aluminium, Facebook’s new HQ would garner universal “Likes.” Instead it’s more “Sad” than “Wow”. Read More >>

art
This Floating Walkway is Christo’s First Truly Important Work of Art

Over the weekend, my social media feeds were draped in neon orange as the world exuberantly shared the first photos of Christo’s latest work, The Floating Piers, a 1.8-mile walkway across an Italian lake. It's easily the artist’s most ambitious piece from an engineering perspective—and one that actually adds value to its location. Read More >>

transport
A Floating Balloon Bridge Could Help Replace New York City’s Failing Subways

One of New York City’s major subway lines connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan will be out of commission for months, maybe years, and some residents are preparing for an end-of-days scenario. A few enterprising New Yorkers have proposed a gondola, but building it will be nearly as pricey and time-consuming as the subway repairs. The city needs ideas for getting people over the East River, fast. Here are a few inspired ones. Read More >>

cities
See the Exact Moment When the World’s Biggest Cities Were Born

The world is urbanising faster than ever, with more than half of the planet’s population currently living in cities; that's more than any time in history. But when did this trend of “urbanisation” start? It turns out its roots go back much farther than we thought. Read More >>

cities
Only Three US Cities Have Good Jobs, Affordable Housing, and High Quality of Life

When looking for a place to live, people are generally looking for three things: affordability, a strong economy, and good quality of life. For most Americans that poses a dilemma because a clear majority of US cities can only claim excellence in one of these areas. A dozen cities specialise in two. But for those who truly want it all, there are three choices. And they’re all in the Midwest. Read More >>

architecture
Apparently It’s Possible to Live in a Flat With Too Good of a View

A building boom of supertalls in New York City is resulting in some of the highest residential units in the world—we’re talking flats that are at a dizzying 90 stories and higher. So where does that leave the people who live in the former-tallest residential buildings? Don’t worry, they’re just fine in their 80th floor flats—because the view there is supposedly better. Read More >>

cars
Paris Is Now Banning All Pre-1997 Cars

Paris has tried just about everything to combat its terrible smog problem. The city has launched attempts to take half the cars off its road, introduce regular car-free days, and close famous streets to vehicular traffic—but Paris still has some of the worst pollution in Europe. Now a much bigger idea is going into effect: Kicking the oldest cars out of the city. Read More >>

cars
How Likely You Are to Get Killed by a Car, Depending on Its Speed

It’s simple physics really: The faster a car is going when it hits you, the more likely you’re going to get killed. But there’s a correlation between the speed of the car and the likelihood you’ll be killed, especially when you take age into consideration. Just 5 mph can make a dramatic difference in whether you live or die. Read More >>

google
Google is Opening a Detroit Office to Poach Auto Talent

Just few weeks after Google got us all excited about its impending fleet of autonomous Chrysler people carriers, the company’s Self-Driving Car project announced that it’s packing up at least part of its operation and moving it to Detroit, aka Motor City. Ford, hide your engineers! Read More >>