Design

Ohneka Farms

You Could Have Grown Your Thanksgiving Bounty In the Kitchen

This hydroponic techno-planter requires little care, needs no dirt, and glows like a magic mushroom.

Elizabeth Preston

Why You Probably Can't Draw a Map of Your City From Memory

Human sense of direction first relies on "egocentric" knowledge of places, like landmarks. Conceptualizing the overall lay of the land is much harder.

Videos

Take a Drone Tour Above a City Abandoned During Chernobyl

A photographer explores by air a forgotten city where nature has forged on.

Courtesy Zachary Caceres

How Local Governments Could Work More Like Cell Phones

A young American in Guatemala wants to bring a spirit of entrepreneurship to municipal governance through his think tank, the Startup Cities Institute.

Videos
Youtube/E . Stephanian

Lewis Baltz, Famed Photographer of Post-War Sprawl, Dies at 69

"I tried to show myself as an anthropologist from a different solar system. What kind of new world was being built here?"

Christos Georghiou/Shutterstock.com

Predict Your Date of Death With This Gloomy Data Visualization

This World Bank-supported project asks, "What's my place in the world population? How long will I live?"

Courtesy James Rojas

Wanted: More (and Better) Discourse on Designing Diverse Communities

Broadening our understanding of how different groups interact with their physical environments would be a great first step.

Maps
Flickr/Tabsinthe

How to Make a Better Map—Using Neuroscience

These three cartographers are applying advances in brain science and cognitive psychology to their work.

Photos
Victoria Lautman

Can India's Ancient Stepwells Help Solve the Country's Water Crisis?

Now largely obsolete, these Escher-like cisterns were once monuments of public life. And in the midst of water shortage, stepwells may refill their civic role.

Flickr/Paalia

Why People Write on Bathroom Walls

The study of "latrinalia" reveals deep connections between environment, social mores, and why dudes draw penises while women tend to scribble romantic poetry in public potties.

RAD Lab

Selling Conservative San Diego on Experimental Land Uses

The brand new Quartyard pop-up is a sign of changing attitudes in what has been a more traditional planning culture.

CityFixer
Jason Lawrence / Flickr

How Super-Small, European-Style Delivery Vehicles Could Make U.S. Streets Safer

A growing class of cargo vans enables smarter intersection design.

connel / Shutterstock.com

The Swedish Approach to Road Safety: 'The Accident Is Not the Major Problem'

Sweden's top traffic safety strategist visits New York to share lessons from the original "Vision Zero."

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Why the Future of Major League Soccer Is Downtown

Young urbanites are Major League Soccer's most loyal demographic. They want their stadiums in city centers.

AP Photo/Jens Meyer

Germany's Famed Crosswalk Man Comes Under Fire for Being ... a Man

The Ampelfrau and her commanding yet adorable braid will be phased in, but opponents look askance for varied reasons.   

Luke Anderson/StopGap

In Canada, DIY Wheelchair Ramps Are an Imperfect Fix

As Ontario businesses move toward mandated accessibility compliance, ramp project StopGap doesn't want perfection to be the enemy of good.

Maps
Jennifer Wong

So You've Decided to Map Sidewalk Poop in San Francisco...

Sorry to say you'll discover that much of it is attributed to humans.

Flickr/Groume

Paris May Not Welcome the 'Human Zoo'

A white South African artist's re-creation of a colonialist tradition exhibiting "exotic" people is drawing ire across Europe.

Videos
Freedom/YouTube

Sorry Photo Drones, These Real Bird's-Eye City Views Rule Way Harder

To mark the 50th anniversary of the "Red List" of endangered species, a white-tailed eagle with a GoPro captured swooping views of London.