Cities

How to build a prefab high-rise

Prefab houses are pretty awesome. Dense living is definitely awesome. And Sustainable Living Innovations is getting the prefab peanut butter in the density chocolate, designing modular high-rise buildings that unfold like cootie catchers. This video shows how it works. The …

Choosing a school? Here are the most bike-friendly universities

College acceptance letters should be piling up right about now, and the League of American Bicyclists has put out a list of the country's most bike-friendly universities. Here's the top 12 (the ones they rated Platinum, Gold, or Silver): Platinum: …

Resilient Tokyo: commuters learn to love the bike

There’s more of this in Tokyo these days.Photo: Byron Kidd Shortly after last month’s disastrous earthquake and tsunami in Japan, we posted a dispatch from Tokyo by Bike blogger Byron Kidd (@tokyobybike) about how more people were biking to work …

The EPA chooses sprawl over urban sustainability

Cross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. In defiance of the environmental values it supposedly stands for, the federal Environmental Protection Agency is moving its regional headquarters from a walkable, transit-rich, downtown Kansas City (Kan.) neighborhood to one of the …

Stalking the wild salamanders of Manhattan [UPDATED]

Perfectly at home.Photo: Sarah GoodyearIf I asked you where the picture above was probably taken, I don’t think your first answer would be Manhattan. But that’s exactly where I found this fine-looking red-backed salamander: In a brushy, overgrown part of …

Thinking ‘like an Avon Lady’ to get suburban workers on transit

Making a greener office park.Photo: Keith CuddebackFascinating case study in The Atlantic about getting people out of their cars and onto transit for their commute. Lisa Margonelli writes about a program at a suburban California office park that has had …

Ohio Gov. Kasich wants state to be ‘cool,’ fails to get what that means

Is there anything more uncool than a 50-something politician in a suit talking about wanting his state to be “cool”? Nah. Probably not. Witness Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a newly elected Republican whose union-busting policies have made him pretty unpopular, …

Los Angeles to slather its rooftops with solar panels

Here's a crazy idea: apply the same incentives that have made Germany the world leader in rooftop solar power to a place that is actually sunny. Also, use the power generated from these panels to zero out the electricity costs …

Surprise! Times Square air cleaner now that cars are gone

Refreshing, isn’t it?Photo: Ed Yourdon Despite positive reviews from local business owners, area workers, tourists, and other human beings, New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo won’t stop frothing at the mouth about the pedestrian plazas in New York’s Times Square, …