Skip to content
Grist home
All monthly donations matched $10 $15 $20 $25 Other Donate
  • An Indian boom city grows without planning, at its peril

    In Gurgaon, gleaming residences, malls, and office buildings are like islands unto themselves.Photo: iamgurgaonYou hear a lot of people talking these days about small government. About letting the free market drive development. About how city planners are trying to do some kind of sinister social engineering. About how the feds and the states should just […]

  • Roads cause traffic

    Yeah, it actually does need to be said. Folks with an investment in expanding highway infrastructure like to act as though the only way to relieve congestion is to build more roads for those cars to ride on. But a soon-to-be-published study shows that traffic expands to fill the space allotted. More roads don't mean […]

  • 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 Newcastle, an innovative initiative that has breathed life into the vacant downtown of that Australian […]

  • U.S. infrastructure needs a $2 trillion make-over

    Like those bridges and roads and trains tracks you've got there? Want to keep them? That'll be $2 trillion. That's how much the Urban Land Institute estimates the U.S. needs to invest in infrastructure just to keep what's already in place from falling apart. Everybody else in the world gets this. In Europe, countries realize […]

  • Dr. Grist’s four-part prescription for managing climate change

    Dr. Grist fills in the blanks.We are not going to solve climate change. That’s not pessimism — it’s just not the kind of thing that can be “solved.” It’s already underway. There’s enough carbon stocked in the atmosphere to keep the temperature going up for decades even if we cease polluting entirely, which isn’t going […]

  • Bus Rapid Transit: a transit fast track without the track

    As Dave Roberts pointed out in his post earlier today, if this country has any hope of getting serious about energy security, we’re going to have to get serious about transit. But what form should that transit take, exactly? If you look around the world, you’ll see a lot of cities embracing Bus Rapid Transit. […]

  • The missing piece of Obama’s energy security plan: cities

    Dude, you forgot the cities — like Denver.I had plenty of complaints about Obama’s big energy security speech last week — see here and here. Most of them centered on his crassly political decision to put supply-side solutions first, despite the fact that supply is a red herring; all the serious solutions are demand-based. There’s […]

  • Seoul tears down an urban highway and the city can breathe again

    This downtown green space in Seoul was once a looming, congested elevated freeway.Photo: Kyle NishiokaCross-posted from Sightline’s Daily Score blog. As a sustainability-loving transportation planner, I was thrilled to learn that Dr. Kee Yeon Hwang would be visiting Vancouver and talking about the project that has made Seoul, Korea a legend in urban planning circles: […]

  • Tearing down the highways that choke our cities [VIDEO]

    The power of an elevated freeway to dominate and degrade a city’s streets is overwhelming. So much so that if you live near one it can be almost impossible to envision what the place might look like if it were gone, and the old patterns of the streets restored. But in places where that has […]