How Twitter Is Like a City

For dissidents like Ai Weiwei, the internet is fulfilling roles once played by urban space.


China's Dirty Water

A third of industrial waste water is released, without treatment, into rivers and lakes.

David Gray/Reuters

The High Cost of Beijing's Empty Bird's Nest

The celebrated venue costs $11 million a year to maintain.


China Crowdmaps Pedestrian and Cyclist Problem Areas

A new website enables residents to identify problems in Beijing's pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.


Beijing Flooding in Pictures

Large sections of Beijing were inundated this weekend as the heaviest rains in 61 years drenched the city.

Luke Macgregor / Reuters

London vs. Beijing: The Pregames

Though the spectacle has been underwhelming, London may have an edge over the Chinese capital in long-term planning.

Debra Bruno

Can an Ancient Chinese City Pursue Preservation Without Disney-fication?

One of China’s last walled cities is having an identity crisis.


Why China Needs More Human-Scale Development

It's time for fast-growing Asian cities to dump the super-block.


Beijing's Olympic Ruins

Already decaying infrastructure from the 2008 Summer Games should serve as a lesson to all cities that follow.

China's Air Pollution Problem Explained in One Animation

These before-and-after graphics show just how severe the problem has become.


What It Looks Like to Clean the Top of the World

Wild shots of window washers.

Why Do We Keep Making Abominable Olympic Theme Songs?

One-upmanship is probably to blame.


What's Making China Fat?

Obesity rates have skyrocketed in China over the last generation, at the same time that its cities have exploded. A group of researchers is now trying to pin down the relationship between the two.

Debra Bruno

The Lonely Life of the Chinese Graffiti Writer

Spray-painting walls in Beijing isn't actually all that dangerous. So why are there so few people doing it?

Robert Ennals/Flickr

This Week in Bans: Beijing's Public Toilets to Become Fly-Free

Also, L.A. outlaws plastic bags; Lady Gaga ponders violent threats in Jakarta; and much more.

OMA/Jim Gourley

Construction Finally Ends at CCTV's Beijing Headquarters

After many setbacks, Rem Koolhaas's  "reinvention of the skyscraper" is nearly ready to open.


The De-Bikification of Beijing

Cycling has dropped precipitously in China's capital. Will it ever be popular again?


Subway Platforms From Around the World

As iconic as anything above ground, these subway platforms leave riders with an added sense of the city they serve.

Lucie & Simon

Cities Are Surprisingly Menacing When You Remove All the People

French photographers Lucie & Simon have cleansed major cities of their troublesome humanity, creating empty, dread-filled urban landscapes.