Environment

Don’t Alienate the Suburbs on Climate

The suburbs can help cities fight climate change.

The City Known for ‘Sewer Socialists’ Actually Has Great Sewers

Milwaukee now averages a mere 2.4 combined sewer overflows a year, thanks to a massive underground tunnel, green infrastructure, and flood-control measures.

A sign outside a storefront in Buffalo, New York.

Will Buffalo Become a Climate Change Haven?

The Western New York city possesses a distinct mix of weather, geography, and infrastructure that could make it a potential climate haven. But for whom?

photo: An Amazon shop opens in Paris in 2018.

Paris to Amazon: No Free Delivery for You

Mayor Anne Hidalgo wants the e-commerce company to pay for the carbon emissions and traffic congestion that online shopping generates in the French capital.

Where Flooding Is Most Affecting Property Values

A small coastal Mississippi town is seeing dramatic property value losses from flooding. But the houses in highest demand are still right on the water.

photo: a Brazilian yellow scorpion.

Yellow Scorpions Are Invading Brazilian Cities

Hotter conditions and urbanization trends have made cities like São Paulo prime habitat for the deadly stinging creatures.

Neighborhoods With More People of Color Pay Higher Energy Bills

Not only are residents of minority neighborhoods paying more of their income for energy bills, but federal government housing policies are a huge part of the reason why.

photo: Chris Burden's "Urban Light," installed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, features several of L.A.'s historic streetlight styles.

The Future of the Streetlight Might Be in the Past

A new competition from the L.A. mayor’s office invites designers to reimagine the rich history of civic illumination and create next-generation streetlights.

photo: An array of solar panels in Oakland, California.

When Residents Support Solar—Just ‘Not in My Backyard’

While the American public broadly favors expanding renewable energy, that support doesn’t always extend to the photovoltaic panels next door.

Drilling Wells in Los Angeles

Why Is California Approving So Many New Oil Wells?

Drilling and fracking permits are up since Governor Newsom took office. But it’s not totally clear why.

Holland Aims to Bring Back Its Starry Nights

Campaigners want government agencies and companies to turn off the lights so citizens can rediscover the beauty of darkness.

Bernie Sanders and AOC Unveil a Green New Deal for Public Housing

The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act would commit up to $180 billion over a decade to upgrading 1.2 million federally owned homes.

photo: Mayor Luigi Brugnaro walks on St Mark's Square as exceptionally high tidal flooding engulfed the city.

Its Flood Barrier Unfinished, Venice Submerges Under a Record Tide

Seasonal acqua alta reached the highest level since 1966, leaving two dead and devastating damage. The city’s ambitious flood barrier isn’t ready yet.

photo: A metro train at Paris' Gare Du Nord.

Can the Paris Metro Make Room for More Riders?

The good news: Transit ridership is booming in the French capital. But severe crowding now has authorities searching for short-term solutions.

photo: Swedish journalist Per Grankvist, AKA the "Scandinavian Malcolm Gladwell."

To Survive Climate Change, We’ll Need a Better Story

Per Grankvist is “chief storyteller” for Sweden’s Viable Cities program. His job: communicate the realities of day-to-day living in a carbon-neutral world.

Oslo's Ambitious Plan to Decarbonize Its Port

The Port of Oslo is electrifying ferries and taking other steps to slash emissions: “It’s what is necessary if we are going to reach the Paris Agreement.”

As Disasters Worsen, Cities and Researchers Eye Social Resilience

As climate change makes disasters more severe, researchers say we can prepare by being informed, volunteering, and staying socially connected.

A white foam of chemical pollution blankets New Delhi's Yamuna river.

What One Suffocating City Means for the World

News images from New Delhi seem cut from an apocalyptic outbreak film.

Smashing the Great Pumpkin-Waste Problem

Community pumpkin-smashing events aim to cut down on Halloween’s contribution to America’s food waste problem and reap the benefits of composting.

Photo: Media members report on a burning home as a firefighter douses flames during the Hillside fire in the North Park neighborhood of San Bernardino, California on October 31, 2019.

California’s Wildfires Are Not a Morality Tale

The fire-scorched state’s history has long been marked by calamities. But its latest disaster did not come to teach Californians a lesson.

photo: Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg at a campaign stop in Waterloo, Iowa, in September.

Pete Buttigieg’s Climate Vision: Local Fixes for a Planet in Crisis

The South Bend mayor’s approach to the climate crisis reflects his recent experiences with Indiana floods, and his belief that cities can lead with solutions.