Linda Poon

Linda Poon

Linda Poon is a staff writer 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.

a photo of volunteers packing meals for food-insecure individuals during an event in New York on the anniversary of 9/11.

Why Americans Stopped Volunteering

The terror attacks on September 11, 2001, inspired a national surge in civic spirit. But volunteering rates have been declining over the last two decades.

a photo of a man paddling his kayak down a flooded street in Charleston following Hurricane Dorian.

In Charleston, the Real Flooding Crisis Is Only Beginning

The historic South Carolina city escaped the worst of the latest storm, but rising seas and an aging drainage system may soon bring chronic inundation.

Sold sign on a house.

Buying Your First Home? A Look at 20-Year Trends

There are fewer people buying a first-home these days, but of those entering the real estate market, more are unmarried, Asian, or Hispanic.  

Why Indonesia's Capital Move Has Environmentalists Worried

With Jakarta jammed and sinking, the Indonesian government has chosen Borneo as the site of its new capital, which it promises to make a “forest city.”

Can Solar Panels Handle the Heat of a Warming World?

High temperatures and humidity make solar panels less efficient. What does that mean for solar power as the climate changes?

a photo of the L.A. Metro Expo Line extension

Why Can’t I Take Public Transit to the Beach?

In the U.S., getting to the beach usually means driving. But some sandy shores can still be reached by train, subway, and bus.

a photo of a man pumping drinking water during the water shortage in Chennai, India.

The Future of the City is Thirsty

A new WRI report on 15 cities across the Global South reveals that access to safe drinking water is often underestimated—and the challenge will only get worse.

How American Cities Score on Clean Energy

The good news: More American cities are taking action. The bad news: There’s a lot left to be done.

It's Getting Too Damn Hot to Have Fun in the Summer

An environmental economist explains how climate change and extreme weather could mean summer is no longer the peak season for festivals and outdoor recreation.

a photo of Los Angeles in 1962

Mapping the Effects of the Great 1960s ‘Freeway Revolts’

Urbanites who battled the construction of the Interstate Highway System in the 1960s saved some neighborhoods—but many highways did transform cities.

A chef prepares food at a restaurant in Beijing, China.

What Restaurant Reviews Reveal About Cities

Where official census data is sparse, MIT researchers find that restaurant review websites can offer similar demographic and economic information.

Here’s What the Heat Island Looks Like in East Coast Cities

Maps of urban heat islands show where residents can find pockets of cooler air in Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.

A migrant laborer rides a bicycle past a residential community in Shanghai.

When Affordable Housing in Shanghai Is a Bed in the Kitchen

In this sector of the city’s informal housing rental market, as many as 24 people can be crammed into a three-bedroom apartment.

Hurricane Barry Is on the Way, and New Orleans Is Already Soaked

An “unprecedented” hurricane may bring three dangerous kinds of flooding all at once: rainfall, a storm surge, and overflow from a swollen Mississippi River.

A car half-submerged in water on a roadway during a flash flood.

D.C.’s ‘Historic’ Flash Flood May Soon Be Normal

One-hundred-year storms, of the kind that wreaked havoc on the nation’s capital Monday, are expected to become 1-in-25-year events by mid-century.

‘Reading the City’ Helps Travelers Find Books About Their Destinations

If guidebooks aren’t your thing, check out these stories to learn about the cities you’re visiting next.

a photo of bus stop benches in Rochester, New York

Take a Seat: 5 Brilliant Bus Stop Fixes

When cities fail to provide basic amenities like seats at bus stops, community organizations step in with creative DIY fixes.