John Metcalfe

John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.

Amazing City Maps That Look Like They're Made of Wood

A San Francisco mapmaker’s work appears so real you can smell the varnish.

The Sublime Cisterns of San Francisco

Subterranean vats were an emergency response to the city being repeatedly and savagely burned to the ground.

Can L.A. De-Stink Its Metro?

The city is installing lavender-smelling deodorizers in train cars to address rider complaints.

Denver's Trees Just Turned Blue

The freaky forests are an artistic cry against global deforestation.

This Magic Dutch Traffic Light Helps Bicyclists Avoid Stopping

The “Flo” system uses cute creatures to tell cyclists to speed up or slow down to catch a green light.

The Ultimate Photo Map of the 1906 San Francisco Quake

See the disaster that transformed the city from a galaxy of perspectives.

Mapping Amtrak Service, Before and After the Trump Budget

A visualization shows hundreds of cities that would lose long-distance trains under the president’s proposed budget.

The Anatomy of a Great Dog Park

Let one of America’s foremost designers of hound spaces lay out what works (and doesn’t).

Groove Out to 24 Hours of New York Transit With the 'Multimodal Symphony'

A chaotic animation portrays a full day of New York traffic, from buses to taxis to ferries to Amtrak.

Watch Seattle's Massive Tunnel Borer Finally Emerge From the Ground

This glorious, cinematic drone footage commemorates four long years of digging.

Emergency crews unload a man from an airplane that was hit by turbulence while flying from Manila to Tokyo in 2009, injuring 30 people.

Climate Change Might Worsen Nauseating Airplane Turbulence

Future fliers can expect more brushes with turbulence strong enough to hurl unbuckled people around the cabin, according to new research.

Austin's Traffic-Safety Signs Are Indeed Weird

“ROAD CONSTRUCTION AHEAD / PLEASE DRIVE WILLIE SLOW.”

Portland Wants to Make Bike Share Work for Disabled Riders

The city is becoming one of a handful to shed the notion that people with disabilities don’t want to ride.

Is This America's Most Adorable Parklet?

A Seattle donut shop turned a real 1940s sailboat into public space.

In London, a Grim Warning About Ocean Plastics

A public art piece sponsored by Greenpeace addresses the fact that by 2050 plastics will clog the guts of virtually all seabirds.

Do You Really Need to Lock Your Car?

Most people do. But the Bay Area’s automotive smash-and-grab scene is so intense that some drivers leave their doors open to avoid the expense of replacing broken windows.

The Weird Geography of Population Density

What if people were mapped like mountains?

Denver's New Transit Mascot Is a Total Jerk

The Colorado metro's Regional Transportation District goes irreverent with its “Don’t Be Jimmy” campaign, starring a boorish rider who just dodged a sexually transmitted disease.

What's Better Exercise: Biking or Walking?

CityLab investigated this workout showdown.

Portland Anarchists Want to Fix Your Street's Potholes

Meet the group devoted to abolishing capitalism, and also making streets super smooth.