Three visions for a hypothetical pandemic memorial
Charlie Moore turned the aesthetics of beat policing into a full-time job.
Theme-park designers, architects, and engineers have been fighting against queues for decades. COVID-19 could finally kill them for good.
The pandemic has revealed that higher education was never about education.
Arborists are planting trees today that must survive decades of global warming. The health, comfort, and happiness of city dwellers hang in the balance.
Every relationship is long-distance now—and that’s a good thing.
Glass-and-steel monoliths replaced local architecture. It’s not too late to go back.
Television and film helped naturalize police violence. Noir offers a way out.
The quiet of lockdown and the noise of protest restage the political conflicts of sonic life in the city.
A machine-learning model showed promising results, but city officials and their engineering contractor abandoned it.
The wealthy hubs of the United States and India are embracing informal gastronomy, but not the people who have traditionally provided it.
A short story explores the possible quandaries of future wearable computing.
Charlie Santore sees Los Angeles from the inside, by breaking into safes whose owners can no longer unlock them.
New technologies are making war even more horrific.
The city of canals has been flooding for centuries. Others can learn from its adaptations.
Blockchain-based mapping hopes to replace GPS. Can it be trusted?
Fashionable minimalism replaced plush opulence. That’s a recipe for commotion.
But cities can fight back.
The billionaire is drilling for futuristic transit under Los Angeles. He didn’t have to ask the neighbors first.
“Rich people don’t get their own ‘better’ firefighters, or at least they aren’t supposed to.”
The “toyery” once made play a part of civic infrastructure. It’s time to bring it back.
A new breed of accessibility apps can make life easier for people with disabilities. They can also make it harder.
Earth’s rural areas are being transformed by climate change and technology.
Ride-shares aren’t the most efficient way to move lots of people around cities.
In Atlanta and other racially segregated cities, the education system is stacked against African Americans competing for STEM careers. If Amazon picks the city for its second headquarters, things could get even worse.
Public education and its traditions united communities. But “school choice” could put that legacy at risk.
New Orleans is building a state-of-the-art, billion-dollar terminal. But is it planning for a future doomed by climate change?
San Francisco’s scooters are back, and newly regulated. But is regulation enough to make them work in the long term?
Climate change is going to revolutionize politics in cities across the world.
An environmental philosopher reflects on his experience enduring Hurricane Harvey, and what it teaches cities and their citizens about living with global warming.
Amazon’s hometown has one of the nation’s worst homelessness problems. But instead of using its technology and its wealth to fix it, the city is making the problem worse.
Google and San Jose hope to make the city more affordable for working- and middle-class families, but they make matters worse.
Technology has streamlined Dover, the busiest port in the United Kingdom. But nothing has prepared it for the Brexit transition.
Retail stores used to be places to buy things. Smartphones changed that, and retailers are struggling to invent new reasons, and methods, for shopping.
What if the urban visions of famous architects and planners had actually been built?
The machine age is changing the nature of work. In the process, it is also transforming buildings, and making them less hospitable for human use.
The company’s slick, wireless earbuds work great, but they foreshadow startling changes to the social fabric.
In Rotterdam, the bakfiets utility bike has become a symbol—and a tool—of urban displacement.
The L.A. County Sheriff has deployed a quadcopter drone for rescue and reconnaissance. But will the public accept that these aerial officers come in peace?
An architect immerses himself in residential production housing to learn why people like it—and what it can teach Americans about the future of urban design.
In Ho Chi Minh City, computer analysis of orbital images overlooks some urban communities. To represent them, cities will have to put boots on the ground.
The San Fernando Valley was once the bedroom community of the adult industry. Now technology hopes to disrupt traditional pornography—and the city it calls home.
Human technology is responsible for more loss from fire than any other cause. But reducing fire’s impact will require changes to how people live, not just to the infrastructure that lets them do so.
The city of stars was once a major hub for aerospace. Soon it might be again.
Scientists can finally track the civilization’s economic booms and recessions—thanks to the exhaust of its massive coin-making operation, preserved for centuries in Greenland’s ice sheet.
A fast-growing type of charitable account gets big tax breaks but little oversight.
Spaceport America was supposed to bring a thriving space industry to the southern New Mexico desert—but for now it’s a futurist tourist attraction, not an operational harbor to the cosmos.
A movement has brought safer bicycle lanes to the United States. But it took a manual to spread them.
A short story imagines an entirely different way for cities to schedule people’s lives.
Piaggio, the Italian company that makes Vespa scooters, is building cargo droids for city pedestrians.
In the 19th century, fire escapes saved tenement dwellers from peril. Today they are more likely to cause harm than to prevent it.
The smart city is moving beyond cameras and microphones to stranger surveillance tools.
In Cyprus, Estonia, the United Arab Emirates, and elsewhere, passports can now be bought and sold.
For a century, urban commotion has been treated as a moral failing of individuals. Fixing it will require systemic changes to environmental noise.
Like it or not, the middle class became global citizens through consumerism—and they did so at the mall.
GPS-equipped smartphones were supposed to put an end to going off course. They didn't, and they never will.
The PRC’s “social credit” scheme might have consequences for life in cities everywhere.
Will Toronto turn its residents into Alphabet’s experiment? The answer has implications for cities everywhere.
Digital stardust won’t magically make future cities more affordable or resilient.
Engineering put the Crescent City below sea level. Now, its future is at risk.