Design

Photograph of a high, sculptural atrium with white walls and curving stairs.

The Glamour of the Jet Age Lives on at the TWA Hotel

A swinging hotel just opened inside the defunct 1960s-era terminal designed by Eero Saarinen at New York’s JFK Airport.

Two horses standing in a field with fences and a large white barn in the background.

America’s First Greenbelt May Be in Jeopardy

Adopted in the 1950s to protect the city’s iconic horse farms, the urban growth boundary of Lexington, Kentucky, no longer seems unassailable.

A photo of the Sparrows Point steel mill

In Baltimore, Visions of Life After Steel

The vast Bethlehem Steel mill in Sparrows Point outside Baltimore once employed 30,000 workers. Now it’s on the brink of something new.

New Ideas for Paris's Outdated Infrastructure

After a criticized first installment, the city's design competition has a wider talent pool and a fairer distribution of commissions to redesign urban sites.

An orange-and-black monarch butterfly alights on an outstretched hand.

Designing the Butterfly-Friendly City

With the population of the distinctive species in decline, cities around the U.S. are trying to add monarch-friendly spaces.

An artist's rendering of a space colony, with farms, a university campus, an elevated train track, and skyscrapers in the background.

Jeff Bezos Dreams of a 1970s Future

If the sci-fi space cities of Bezos’s Blue Origin look familiar, it’s because they’re derived from the work of his college professor, the late physicist Gerard O’Neill.  

The Problem With D.C.’s New Apple Store

The city has converted a cultural gem entrusted to the entire city into an exclusive outlet that serves only the few.

The interior of Toledo's sleek Central Union Terminal

When the Future Looked Like Toledo

In 1945, designer Norman Bel Geddes created Toledo Tomorrow, an exhibit that imagined a bold new direction for his Ohio hometown. At least part of it came true.   

A woman stands in a small, 1940s-era kitchen with white cabinets and a dining table.

The Frankfurt Kitchen Changed How We Cook—and Live

There are “dream kitchens,” and then there’s the Frankfurt Kitchen, designed by architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky in 1926.

a photo of U.S.-Mexico borderlands

Instead of a Border Wall, Why Not a ‘Clean Energy Corridor’?

Building solar panels and wind turbines along the U.S.-Mexico border, say scientists, could unite demands for a Green New Deal and stronger border security.

A photo of a young woman riding a bicycle past a colorful mural on the outside of a large building.

Why Miami Beach Spent Big on Public Art

The city spent an unprecedented $7 million on a mural, sculptures, and other artworks around its newly renovated convention center.

New Taxes and Higher Density Aren't Fixing Vancouver's Housing Problem

To combat the exodus of its working and middle classes, the city needs an aggressive affordable housing strategy—and fast.

The Urban Planning Vision of Leonardo da Vinci

Following a typical Renaissance trend, he began to work out an “ideal city” project, which, due to its excessive costs, would remain unfulfilled.

The Architecture Behind Columbia's Manhattanville Ambitions

A new campus has a mandate to better connect the institution to the world, but its presence has left neighbors asking, “What about us?”

The Manhattan skyline at night.

Can New York Make Buildings Super-Efficient, Fast?

By 2030, the city’s large buildings must cut their carbon emissions by 40 percent. Here’s how that can happen.

A photo of a newly pedestrianized area of central Brussels in 2015.

In Car-Choked Brussels, the Pedestrians Are Winning

The Belgian capital is one of the most congested in Europe. But an ambitious suite of street makeovers is pushing traffic outside the central city.

A design rendering of more than a dozen different backyard-cottage templates.

A One-Stop Shop for Affordable Backyard Homes Advances in L.A.

A new program in Los Angeles seeks to finance and build accessory dwellings for homeowners who agree to rent them to Section 8 voucher-holders.

A Brief History of Neon Signage in Cities

The once-ubiquitous form of lighting was novel when it first emerged in the early 1900s, though it has since come to represent decline.

A photo of Denver's skyline with mountains in the background.

The Town That Extended ‘Smart Growth’ to Its Water

As Western states grapple with drought, Westminster, Colorado, has become a model for its integration of water data into the planning process.

In Switzerland, Everyone’s an Urban Planner

To reimagine its largest public space, the Swiss city of Lausanne organized a citywide consultation and workshop that asked: Just who is the public?