Infrastructure

Climate & Energy

California celebrities are wasting electricity moving water around

But then, so is everyone else in the state. The utilities commission broke down electricity use; we made jokes about it.

Cities

Austin dims its lights, everyone + science wins

A city council decision to invest $15 million in efficient lighting is not only a smart move, it's part of a great tradition started in Silicon Valley.

Cities

Coming this August: You, made of garbage

The World Bank's report on the world's garbage creation reveals big differences in how rich and poor countries dispose of waste – both today and in the future.

Cities

Jobs taking the last bus out of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh's decision to nearly halve its bus routes means at least one company won't expand its hiring. The real damage, though, may be long-term.

Infrastructure

Detroit turns a freeway into a river

No, it wasn't an artistic statement about transportation and modern society. It was a busted water main -- just the latest in a city and state where infrastructure has been neglected for far too long.

Cities

Ithaca mayor turns his personal parking space into a mini-park

The 25-year-old mayor gave up his car to join the 15 percent of his city's residents who walk to work.

Politics

Obscure-but-awesome energy law getting shivved by natural gas lobby

George W. Bush signed a law requiring that new federal buildings gradually eliminate consumption of fossil-fuel energy by 2030. Now the natural gas industry is trying to kill the rule.

Cities

Meatpacking plant turns into net-zero-energy vertical farm

Soon, a former meatpacking plant in Chicago will replace carcasses and rendering vats with bakers and brewers and fish farmers and mushroom growers. The Plant (ho ho, a double meaning!) is gathering together a bunch of food-makers to create a self-sustaining system in the 93,500-square-foot abandoned space. As Fast Company reports, a former meatpacking plant is the perfect place to start a food business of this kind: It already contains “food-grade materials” which are safe for food preparation.

Business & Technology

Ad men illegally hack down trees for billboards

Watch one episode of Mad Men and you’ll see just how shady the advertising biz can be. But apparently the red-headed stepchildren of the advertising industry — outdoor billboard companies — are taking douchebaggery to new lows. An investigative report from Fair Warning details how billboard agencies illegally chop down trees to ensure that potential viewers get unobstructed looks at their signage. Don Draper’s womanizing and debauchery isn’t looking so bad now, eh? Take Robert J. Barnhart, a former employee of Lamar Advertising Company, the largest outdoor billboard company in America. When trees got in the way of the company’s Tallahassee, …

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