Cities

Why the ‘coming housing calamity’ shouldn’t have to be calamitous

The housing market is changing. It’s time to move on from sprawl development.Photo: jcbonbonLast week, I wrote about the mind-bending case of a developer who is giving away cars in order to convince people to buy houses in a far-flung …

Meet the world’s most high-tech bike

It's pretty impressive that we're still chugging along on human-powered vehicles only a step more high-tech than a velocipede — olde-tyme bikes look basically like the ones we've got today. Why improve on perfection, right? Well, maybe just for the …

What can we learn from the world’s most efficient fake city?

This EXTREMELY METAL VIDEO shows the evolution of what is probably the world's most efficient Sim City: 6 million inhabitants and no congestion. It's got optimal population density, operates by subway alone, and has essentially beat an unbeatable game by …

Osama bin Laden couldn’t destroy the free city of New York

This is not what “victory” looks like. Victory is everyday New York.Photo: Sarah GoodyearFor New Yorkers, the 9-11 attack was personal. For weeks after the towers came down, the public spaces of our city were filled with heart-breaking reminders of …

Detroit mayor celebrates demolition of 3,000th building

Who's ready to party like it's 12/12/2012? Detroit mayor David Bing, that's who! In an announcement made via Twitter, his office proudly declared that the city had demolished its 3,000th building of 2010. That's 10 times the rate at which …

Home tweet home: Twitter chooses the city over sprawl

I spent the last couple of days at a conference about climate, cities, and behavior. One topic that kept coming up among the municipal officials there — from places like New York, Denver, Vancouver, Richmond, and San Francisco — was …

Salt of the earth: Environmentalists and urbanists collide in San Francisco Bay [UPDATED]

In a collection of salt evaporation ponds tucked between a freeway, a sleepy little marina, and the headquarters of Dreamworks Animation, the San Francisco Bay’s ecological future hangs in the balance. The ponds themselves look deceptively blank: Vast flat rectangles …

Did we just hit peak cars?

Phil Goodwin, a transport economist at Oxford University, has a pile of statistics saying that car use is already on the decline — in the U.K. In its place, walking, bicycling, and trains are roaring back to life.  Transport economists …

City birds have bigger brains than country birds, says study

Will the intrusion of cities into the natural environment cause birds to become brainier? That appears to be the case, say a passel of ecologists in the April 27 issue of Biology Letters. (This story has no implications for humans. …