I'll be seeing you

It's my last day as cities editor at Grist, but I hate to say goodbye.

Florida is the worst state for pedestrian safety

If you live in Florida and don't have a car, you may want to invest in a heavy steel overcoat. Florida is home to four of the top four most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians -- Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Miami. In the wake of the Raquel Nelson case, the New York Times has turned its reporting eye on pedestrian fatalities, and the scene on Florida streets is pretty depressing: Sidewalks are viewed as perks, not necessities. Crosswalks are disliked and dishonored. And many drivers maniacally speed up when they see someone crossing the street.

Watch a city grow from a tiny sprout in this beautiful video

"Lilium Urbanus" envisions the city as a botanical, flowering from seed to sprout to village to metropolis. Its creators, Anca Risca and Joji Tsuruga, told Scientific American that their daily observation of urban growth in their …


Trying to make China's planned cities livable

Two brothers, an architect and a developer, team up to make new Chinese cities more people-friendly, easing the transition from rural to urban living.


Breaking free from the infrastructure cult of roads

A report from the American Society of Civil Engineers touts misguided and outdated strategies for infrastructure spending.

Critical List: A second leak in Shell's North Sea rig spurting oil; Chinese protest chemical factory

A second leak at the Shell oil platform in the North Sea is proving harder to stop than the first. A Chinese protest against a chemical factory was one of the largest in three years -- at least 12,000 people -- and may herald a shift towards more public action in the country. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is exchanging ideas with leaders in Rio about greening their cities.


Danish-style driving at Legoland California

Pedestrians! Transit! Street vendors! Are we in suburban America anymore?

New trend: Going produce shopping in abandoned gardens

Most cities these days are chock-full of foreclosed properties. Some foreclosed properties are chock-full of fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and other sources of fresh produce. That adds up to a lot of tasty plant matter going to waste -- unless people take it upon themselves to harvest food from abandoned houses, either for their own use or to distribute to shelters. That's not legal, but as a New York Times piece makes clear, that doesn't mean it's not a good idea.

Critical List: Shell spills oil in the Arctic; the Northwest Passage opens

A Shell oil platform in the Arctic is leaking oil. The company won't say how much but will say that the spill is under control. The Interior Department is looking into treatment of Arctic scientist Charles Monnett, who is under investigation for his work on polar bears. Why real world fuel efficiency is so much lower than fuel efficiency standards.

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