Go Solar Without Panels

SunPort lets you buy solar credits just by plugging into a socket.

Andrey_Popov /

Finally, An App That Keeps Track of the Parking Meter for You

A $9 device can save you from a $50 parking ticket.

Flickr/Don McCullough

The Future of Hobby Drone Regulation Is Up in the Air

They're endangering aircraft and firefighters, but the FAA isn't stepping up. Who does that leave?

Shawn Escoffery

New Orleans, the Reluctant 'City Laboratory'

Ten years after Katrina, a complicated culture of “experiments” continues to shape the city.

Captured from Project Sunroof

Google Wants to Help You Install Solar Rooftop Panels

The tech giant’s new tool, Project Sunroof, tells you how much sun you get and how much money you could save.


MIT Puts Pedestrians at the Center of Urban Design

MIT Media Lab’s “Placelet” project will measure the quality of a space by tracking how people move through it.

Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Fortify Your Phone With a Pope Francis App

Pilgrims will be able to follow the papal leader’s upcoming visit to Philadelphia (and plan their own) using an app developed by IBM.

Ingrid Burrington

How to See Invisible Infrastructure

I spent a weekend at the International Utility Locate Rodeo, where people compete to find hidden cables, water mains, and gas lines.

Highways England

The U.K. Is Testing Roads That Recharge Your Electric Car As You Drive

The high-tech highways just might change the game for EV road trips.

MaxyM /

The Geography of America's Beer Preferences, According to Twitter

A new interactive map charts how beer choice varies by where we live.


L.A. Covers Its Reservoirs With Millions of 'Shade Balls'

It’s part of a $34.5 million project to protect the city’s water supply from the sun.

Modern Mechanix

This 1940s House-Building Machine Was the Original 3-D Printer

It supposedly could crank out a two-bedroom home in 24 hours.


Hahahaha, No One Uses LOL Anymore

Research by Facebook suggests “hehe,” “haha,” and emoji have killed the once popular shorthand.

REUTERS/Mike Blake

How Can Cities Get Renters to Use Less Water?

California's drought demands an answer, but as homeownership rates drop, the question has implications for the whole country.


Is Your Smart Home Too Smart? Best #Cityreads of the Week

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

REUTERS/Andrew Burton

Coming Soon to America: One Fare Card for All Transit

It’s working in other parts of the world, so what’s the holdup in the U.S.?

Cultivated Wit

A Modest Proposal to Build a Giant Wall Around San Francisco During Burning Man

A 300-mile wall to exile Burners from the Bay Area is perhaps an idea whose time has come.

Amr Dalsh / REUTERS

How Driverless Cars Could Turn Parking Lots Into City Parks

A huge amount of urban traffic comes from cars circling for available parking. Robot fleets could change all that.