Cities

  • Winning ways

    Philips wants to reward some innovative urban ideas

    A rendering showing how rooftops in Sana’a, Yemen, could be used to collect water.The ideal of smart cities — technologically advanced, forward-thinking, and green — is big in corporate circles these days. IBM has its “Smarter Cities” program, Cisco has …

  • The village green

    Are the British building the perfect town?

    The U.K.’s greenest, cutest town. Image: Red Tree (2004) LLPCharles, the prince of Wales, is building the U.K.’s greenest town. We know what you’re thinking, because we’ve seen Hot Fuzz too: It’s important to be suspicious of British villages that …

  • I'd buy that for $50,000

    An exclusive with the artist behind Detroit’s new Robocop statue

    An iron pour from Westbrook’s performance at the University of West Georgia’s Art Incend event in October 2008.Photo: Casey WestbrookImagine a 10-foot-high steel bong filled with industrial grade coke that spews fire like Mordor and reaches temperatures hot enough to …

  • Thank you very mulch

    Bayview Greenwaste provides fertile ground for San Francisco’s urban agriculture revolution

    Just a few years ago, they were abandoned freeways, dilapidated back yards, and institutional dumping grounds. But today, thanks to San Francisco’s urban agriculture renaissance, many of these pockets of underutilized land are being transformed. And one local company — …

  • Urban family values

    Family values for population hawks: adopting a foster child

    Photo: jrodmanjrLast month, Lisa Hymas posted a list of eight things all of us can do about population. It was a great roundup (my favorite was No. 4), but I’d like to add an item: If you really want to …

  • DIY Culture

    Ask Umbra on making yogurt at home, with or without electricity

    Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I bought a yogurt maker in Germany eight years ago that consists of a glass jar and a sturdy styrofoam container. It cost about $20, works wonderfully, and doesn’t require electricity. Why can’t …

  • Speed limit

    Republican governors just love saying no to rail

    Photo: Tim GilliamTurning down federal money for rail projects looks like it’s turning into a badge of honor for Republican governors. Chris Christie has done it in New Jersey. Scott Walker has done it in Wisconsin. John Kasich has done …

  • Now that's Italian!

    Reinventing the supermarket: How New York’s Eataly falls short

    Eataly is nice, but there’s still plenty of room left to reinvent the supermarket.Photo: Samantha DeckerThe American supermarket experience hasn’t changed much in a half century. It’s basically a connect-the-dots problem each consumer solves differently: How do you get in, …

  • Social network for mass transit almost redeems social networks

    Photo: Sveter SveterMan, what did we do before we had smartphones to answer all of life’s questions? Wracking your brains to remember who played Chunk in “The Goonies”? You can haul out IMDB at the bar. Wondering where to go …