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New Research Could Reveal Which Parts of Your City Swelter the Most New Research Could Reveal Which Parts of Your City Swelter the Most

Anyone who’s spent time in a city in the summer knows that these bastions of blacktop get uncomfortably hot compared with the surrounding countryside. But even within a city’s bounds, some neighborhoods swelter more than others, and that can have a big effect on who’s most threatened by heatwaves. Which is why citizen…

What Scientists Can Learn From New York City's Freakiest Residents What Scientists Can Learn From New York City's Freakiest Residents

In a way, cities are giant science labs, providing an environment for organisms that’s unlike anywhere else on the planet. Even though cities have been around for thousands of years, the way that humans are urbanizing our planet in recent decades has become radically transformative for entire ecosystems. Urban living…

Amazon Is Building a New Tech Hub Inside an Old Post Office Amazon Is Building a New Tech Hub Inside an Old Post Office

In another stunning display of its might, Amazon will be transforming an old post office building into a new Amazon office building. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just announced that the Seattle-based online retailer will open a new tech hub on the site of a historic Canada Post building in Vancouver. The…

Satellites Show How Major Reservoirs Are Drying Up Around the World

Climate change could make drought a way of life in certain parts of the world. Though the prospect of “Day Zero” in Cape Town is being staved off, it’s far from the only city to suffer through a water crisis right now.

Why I Will Never Run and Pick Up Trash Why I Will Never Run and Pick Up Trash

There’s a new trend sweeping the nation—the world actually—and it’s called plogging. No, not blogging on platforms (that “plogging” came and went three years ago) but running while picking up trash. Plogging comes from the Swedish phrase “plocka upp,” which means to pick up, and publications from The Washington Post…

Good Urban Planning Could Mean Hotter Cities Good Urban Planning Could Mean Hotter Cities

Growing up around Washington, D.C., it’s a relief to now live in a city laid out in a coherent fashion, with numbered streets increasing along a cardinal directional axis and being intersected at sensible right angles. Which is why it pains me to say that physics brings some bad news for my fellow gridded…

Amazon Names 20 Finalist Cities for HQ2 Thunderdome Amazon Names 20 Finalist Cities for HQ2 Thunderdome

After what felt like five years of mayoral begging and media gimmicks, we finally know the top 20 finalists in the brutal battle for Amazon’s second headquarters. The cities are about as predictable as you’d think. Basically, all the big ones.

Cities Need to Look Beyond Their Borders When Fighting Climate Change Cities Need to Look Beyond Their Borders When Fighting Climate Change

When you’re in a major city, it can be easy to forget about the outside world. But city life is not a hermetic experience—in fact, the environmental footprints of cities can stretch around the world. A new study shows that cities are overlooking a major source of emissions as they craft policies to transition toward a…

Urbanization Is Now One of the Most Dominant Forces of Evolution Urbanization Is Now One of the Most Dominant Forces of Evolution

When humans settled into larger villages and towns some 12,000 years ago along with the advance of agriculture, wildlife took advantage. Those species “preadapted” to survive in early cities, including mice and rats, grabbed onto the coattails of modern civilization and haven’t looked back since. Now they pretty much…

Saudi Arabia's Robot Love Is Getting Weird Saudi Arabia's Robot Love Is Getting Weird

In the latest example of “Philip K Dick-inspired nightmare becomes real life,” Saudi Arabia just became the first nation to grant citizenship to a robot. The robot’s name is Sophia. It is artificially intelligent, friends with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, and, arguably, a glimpse into the dark future that will kill us…

The Cursed History of NYC MetroCards The Cursed History of NYC MetroCards

If you’ve ridden the New York City subway, you know the feeling. You buy a flimsy plastic card that lets you ride the train, and when you try to swipe it at the turnstile, it doesn’t work. You swipe again. The machine asks you to swipe again. You swipe again. The machine asks you to swipe again at the same turnstile.…

A Colossal ‘Fatberg’ Clogging London's Sewer Is Ten Times Bigger Than the Last One A Colossal ‘Fatberg’ Clogging London's Sewer Is Ten Times Bigger Than the Last One

A so-called “fatberg”—a tightly congealed mass of fat, wet wipes, diapers, and condoms—is blocking a section of London’s Victorian-era sewage network. It could take weeks for utility crews to remove the horrific mass, which, if not removed, could cause raw sewage to spill onto London’s streets.

The Competition to Host Amazon's Second Headquarters Is On The Competition to Host Amazon's Second Headquarters Is On

Jeff Bezos and friends are on a bit of a spending spree. Amazon just announced that it’s looking to drop a cool $5 billion on a “second headquarters” that will employ as many as 50,000 workers. In characteristically splashy fashion, the company also announced that cities across North America will get to bid on the…

The Never-Ending Descent Into This Infinite Fractal City Will Melt Your Brain

In Julius Horsthuis’ short film Recurrence, he takes the audience on a slow descent into a sprawling metropolis he’s created. But as you get closer and closer to the city, and try to make out details like houses and skyscrapers, you start to realize that those tiny details only reveal more of the same, and that your…

Dubai's Unfortunately Named Torch Tower Won't Stop Catching on Fire

Some Dubai residents woke up to a familiar sight early Friday morning: flames engulfing an enormous skyscraper. In fact, the fire that spanned 50 of the 86 stories of the massive Torch Tower was all too familiar. The same skyscraper burned in 2015, and the causes appear to be related.

This 10-Hour Video of Planet Earth Cityscapes Is Strangely Hypnotic

In what is now the sixth installment of a stunning and weirdly addictive series, the BBC has released 10 full hours of video shot during the filming of the Planet Earth II “Cities” episode.

I Want This 1923 Prediction For the American City of the Future To Be Real I Want This 1923 Prediction For the American City of the Future To Be Real

When the world is descending into chaos, it can be hard to believe that optimistic visions of the future are within our reach. But personally, I think I’ve hit that point where escapist fantasy worlds of tomorrow are the only thing that can ease the stresses of our modern world. This 1923 illustration, for instance,…

Hong Kong Looks Beautifully Uncanny When Seen From the Sky Hong Kong Looks Beautifully Uncanny When Seen From the Sky

Few cities represent the remarkable 20th century trend of skyscraper-filled, obscenely dense cities better than Hong Kong. At its height, The Kowloon Walled City, which was demolished in 1993, was perhaps the most dystopian portrait of urban living. And according to photographer Andy Yeung, 21st-century Hong Kong…

Elon Musk's Latest Tunnel Test Feels Like Going Into Hyperspace

The more I learn about Elon Musk’s Boring Project—a batshit idea to build a tunnel that sends cars at breakneck speeds under Los Angeles—the more I want to take a ride. The twisted genius just posted video of a test sled zooming through a test tunnel. Holy shit, it’s like going into hyperspeed, and I want to ride! And…

Elon Musk Wants to Turn the LA Underground Into a Giant Slot Car Race

Who’s the craziest ultra-rich, would-be supervillain in the whole wide world? It’s Elon. Elon Musk.

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