Linda Poon

Linda Poon

Linda Poon is an assistant editor at CityLab covering science and urban technology, including smart cities and climate change. She previously covered global health and development for NPR’s Goats and Soda blog.

Think You’re Faster Than the D.C. Streetcar? Think Again.

Streetcars without dedicated lanes tend to be on the slow side. But beating this much-maligned public transportation mode on foot wasn’t as easy as it looks.

Kamala Harris's $15 Million Proposal to Fix Local Government Tech

The 2020 presidential candidate introduced a bill to help local governments modernize their digital services. Is this the lifeline cities need?

Who Were Milwaukee’s ‘Sewer Socialist’ Mayors?

The city stands apart for electing three socialist mayors, but their work on infrastructure, parks, and housing looks much like what’s expected of mayors today.

How #Trashtag Inspired People to Clean Up Their Parks

A social media challenge had people across the globe cleaning up beaches, parks, rivers—and urging their friends to get in on the action.

A giant fake mosquito perches on a city bus shelter.

Oh, the Places Mosquitoes Will Go!

Because of climate change, Aedes aegypti and Asian tiger mosquitoes will move north in large numbers, a new study finds.

Your City Is Full of Ways to Get an Incidental Workout

New research shows the health benefits of short bursts of incidental physical activity. Here’s how to sneak in some exercise into the normal course of your day.

China’s Huge Number of Vacant Apartments Is Causing a Problem

One-fifth of China’s urban housing stock has been bought up and left vacant, and it’s adding to the country’s housing woes.

Should Libraries Be the Keepers of Their Cities’ Public Data?

Public libraries are one of the most trusted institutions, and they want to make sure everyone has access to the information cities are collecting and sharing.

Heating Violations Are Leaving Residents in the Cold

As wind chills dip as much as 50 degrees below zero, cities like New York and Chicago scramble to restore heating and hot water in homes.

What Cities Get When They Offer Free Tech Support to Residents

Computer repair isn’t cheap—so D.C.’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer is lending its own technicians to help residents fix their devices for free.

Tokyo’s New Strategy for Easing Subway Overcrowding: Free Soba, Tempura

To ease the morning rush traffic, the city’s Metro will reward riders with buckwheat noodles and tempura for traveling outside peak hours.

An fitness instructor leads a indoor running club.

The Rise and Fall of New Year’s Fitness Resolutions, in 5 Charts

The January gym spike is real, but it drops off just a few weeks later, according to data from location and fitness apps.

L.A. Joins the Growing Battle Over Location Data

Los Angeles is taking the Weather Channel to court over its treatment of app users’ location data. Expect that to be one of many such lawsuits in 2019.

A map of Baltimore and its surrounding leafy suburbs.

Every Tree in the City, Mapped

Researchers at Descartes Labs are using artificial intelligence to make a better map of the urban tree canopy.

Tokyo Wants People to Stand on Both Sides of the Escalator

When one side isn't reserved for walkers, it saves time for everyone. But transit users around the world just can’t be convinced.

Can Parkour Teach Older People to ‘Fall Better’?

The sport isn’t just about extreme jumping. It also focuses on balance and agility, which are important for avoiding injury as people age.

A man uses his mobile phone at night near food stalls at a festival in New York.

So You Want to Be a ‘Night Mayor’

As U.S. cities hire nightlife officials, we talked to people on the job about what they really do—and why you shouldn’t call them “night mayors” at all.

A person holding an umbrella walks down a flooded street in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Urban Flooding Is Worryingly Widespread in the U.S., But Under-Studied

When flooding occurs in a small town or just part of a city, it doesn’t register like a big disaster does, according to the first-ever nationwide assessment.

IKEA plans to boost its online offerings and open 30 smaller stores in city centers over the next two years.

Why IKEA Wants to Move Downtown

The retail giant plans to open a series of “city center” stores, starting in Manhattan. It’s a notable departure from its usual big-box suburban megastores.

Can Amazon Really Rename a Neighborhood?

Amazon awarded HQ2 to Northern Virginia’s “National Landing.” Locals know it as Crystal City. For neighborhood boosters, it’s a shot at a much-needed rebrand.

How One City Kickstarted the Ozone’s Recovery

In 1987, two dozen countries agreed to take steps to protect the atmosphere. For Irvine, California, that wasn't enough.