Cities

Laws of human nature

Solving the problem of the city, scientifically

Anyone who thinks that cities are key to the future of a sustainable human presence on the planet -- and anyone who thinks the contrary -- should read Jonah Lehrer's fascinating piece in yesterday's New York Times Magazine, "A Physicist Solves the City."

How we roll

Helmet Wars: A gripping account of the great bicycle helmet campaigns

So, is it safer to wear a bike helmet or not? Parties on both sides of the question claim rationality and cultural superiority for their own. The opponents are engaged in a bloody, winner-take-all contest, with perfect willingness to let ideology wash away all science and common sense. But is this even the right question to ask?

Necessity is a mother

Memo to ecovores: It’s cheaper being green

Listen up, locavores: Many of us live by the same ecologically sound principles as you, not so we can "live intentionally," but because we're broke.

The worst laid plans

Follow-up on Seattle's proposed deep-bore tunnel

A roundup of basic info on the impending decision to build a huge, car-centric mega-tunnel under downtown Seattle.

BABY, YOU CAN DRIVE MY CAR

Rent a stranger’s car (or rent out yours) with RelayRides

Think ZipCar minus the communal cars, and you've got RelayRides. You can rent out your vehicle for an hour or find a ride nearby if you're carless.

Sad State of Affairs

New report on state transportation policy shows a long road ahead

The best hope for reforms that would lead to a reduction in carbon emissions from transportation might lie with the states. Emphasis on might.

Can this suburb be saved?

A talk with Galina Tachieva, author of 'The Sprawl Repair Manual'

A planner says the economic crisis gives us an opportunity to fix the vast, sprawling expanse of suburban America. And she's got the tools to do it.

Windy farmy city

Chicago has got it growing on

Growing Power’s Chicago outposts show that plants can be art as well as food, while Growing Home nurtures people whom society would throw away.

Artisanal hypocrisy in the PNW

Seattle's impending car-centric mega-tunnel: a chat with urbanist Cary Moon

Despite their ostentatious talk on climate, many Pacific Northwest political leaders don't seem to be making the transportation connection. Nowhere is that more evident than in the fight over how to replace Seattle's crumbling Alaskan Way Viaduct, a two-mile-long elevated stretch of State Route 99 running along the city's waterfront. The alternative with the most momentum is a gigantic bored tunnel -- a concrete-heavy, emissions-intensive, multi-billion-dollar piece of old-school highway infrastructure devoted almost entirely to cars, shuttling suburban drivers past the urban core. Sustainable urbanism advocate Cary Moon explains WTF.