Design

Why Philadelphia Is Commissioning Skateable Public Art

The city hopes to engage young people in its downtown parks and museum plazas by installing skateable sculptures.

Google's New Bike Plan Wants Silicon Valley to Be More Like Copenhagen

It envisions a connected, low-stress cycling network.

A Chinese Anti-Smog Campaign Shows Children Crying in a Haze

The ghostly kids look like they’re suffocating in smoke.

Why the Bay Area's $6 Billion Bridge Is Already Defective: Best #Cityreads of the Week

A roundup of the best stories on cities and urbanism we've come across in the last seven days.

The Heart of London's Tech Hub Is About to Get a Major Overhaul

This week, Transport for London (TfL) approved a plan to pump £25 million into making Silicon Roundabout a safer, more pleasant place to be. But is it enough?

London Builds a Co-Working Space in a Tree

The free-range office trend reaches new heights of ridiculousness.

Maps

The Straightest Roads in the World Are in Midwest America

One man’s attempt at mapping the “bendyness” of the planet’s pavement.

Seattle's Future Alleys Look Like Paradise

The city looks to the dank gaps between buildings for “vibrant new spaces.”

The Slow Death of a Brutalist Vision for Buffalo

Architect Paul Rudolph had an ambitious plan for Buffalo's waterfront, but it was only ever partly realized. Today, proof of it is beginning to disappear.

Vintage Menus Show What It's Like 'To Live and Dine in L.A.'

A new anthology proves L.A.’s historic menus are also delicious cultural artifacts.

Why Toronto Should Tear Down Its Urban Expressway

Removing an elevated city highway doesn’t always make traffic worse—some cars just disappear.

Portland Debuts Rain-Themed 'Creative Crosswalks'

It’s not just being weird this time—there’s a safety value to the new crossings.

The Latest Trend in Manhattan: Blocky Buildings

A new Bjarke Ingels design for 2 World Trade Center rounds out the complex with hard edges that still blend in.  

D.C.'s Polluted Rivers Are Getting a Green Makeover

But will all residents reap the same benefits?

This Guy Invented a Cordless Drill-Powered Skateboard

Use a simple Black & Decker to scoot along for miles—or install drywall, your choice.

77 Ways to Design the Letter 'M'

Mass transit agencies around the world face the same conundrum: How to make what amounts to four straight lines distinctive.

Unlocking the Potential in Toronto's Suburban Highrises

The Tower Renewal project combines green retrofits with an ambitious rezoning plan. Will it be enough?

How Maps and Apps Create a Sense of Place: Best #Cityreads of the Week

A roundup of the best stories on technology, cartography, and urbanism we've come across in the last seven days.

Local Governments Will Need Support for Election Reforms

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has called for mandatory voter registration and early voting. True change will require more resources for local elections offices.