Infrastructure

Biking

Washington’s bikeshare is a capital idea

Capital Bikeshare gives you access to 1,100 bicycles around the city.Photo: DDOT DCDo you know what it means to be “dockblocked”? (Don’t worry, that’s a “D,” not a “C,” fellas.) If the answer is yes, you are probably a regular …

Cities

Texas erases $4 billion from education budget, spends it on a giant highway expansion

What does the world need most, in this age of high gas prices and rampant carbon emissions? A 28-mile expansion of highway between Dallas and Denton, Texas! At least, that’s what Texas thinks. Thankfully, the state has freed up just …

Smart Cities

Great places: dense, wired, and sustainable

This is part three in a series on “great places.” Read parts one, two, four, and five. Part of what makes great places great is ecological sustainability. So what’s the best way to reduce our per-capita resource footprint? Typically you …

Cities

Monorails suddenly a thing again

Futuristic as they look, monorails never really got a toehold outside of airports, Disney World, and I Can Haz Cheezburger. Now elevated single-track trains might be getting a second chance to become the transportation of the future. Part of the …

Cities

Cities as software, and hacking the urban landscape

What if saving a rundown city wasn’t about building expensive new infrastructure — hardware, so to speak — but instead reprogramming the existing infrastructure? Changing the software of the place? That’s the analogy used by Marcus Westbury, founder of Renew …

Cities

How the Feds saved enough water for a whole city with just a little bit of cash

The Department of the Interior's WaterSMART program will save enough water for a smallish city — 400,000 people — yet it cost only $24 million. As Tina Casey reports at CleanTechnica, the program works by going for the low-hanging fruit: …

Business & Technology

Critical List: Tornado hits Joplin, Missouri; Chicago preps for climate change

A half-mile wide tornado leveled a Missouri town. And another volcano in Iceland poured ash into the sky. Cut it out, nature, we get it: you don't like airplanes. In Chicago, government officials not only believe in climate change, they …

Cities

Three Gorges Dam has serious issues, China admits

When a country commits to any project as monstrous as China's Three Gorges Dam, it is bound to encounter occasional difficulties. The Chinese government, as governments are wont to do, has preferred to gloss over the dam's detriments and emphasize …

Cities

Making power lines beautiful with the help of a giant reindeer

Here's the down side of increased renewables: It means an increase in unsightly overhead power lines. And if you can't put them underground (which isn't always feasible), the answer might lie in turning an eyesore into a triumph of design. …