Environment

photo: Toxic lead paint peels from a window frame on a rowhouse in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Unequal Burden of Urban Lead

Decades after federal regulations banned the use of the deadly metal in paint, gasoline, and plumbing, the effects of lead continue to be felt across America’s cities.

photo: Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg’s Infrastructure Plan Calls for a National Vision Zero

The Democratic candidate’s $1 trillion pledge to upgrade roads, utilities, and public transportation has an emphasis on road safety and climate adaptation.

Turning a Vast, Post-Industrial Wilderness Into a Park in Pittsburgh

The city acquired the 600-plus acres of Hays Woods, once used for mining and munitions, in 2016, but the work of restoring the land has only just begun.

Why Some Hawaiians Are Fighting a Massive Flood-Control Project

A flood could devastate the tourist zone of Waikīkī in Honolulu, but a federal plan to fortify the Ala Wai Canal has met with strong local resistance.

photo: Tsunami evacuation route sign in Washington State.

How Portland’s Earthquake Preppers Are Planning for the Worst

To survive the “Really Big One,” some neighbors in the Oregon city are organizing block parties that promote emergency preparedness.

New York City Will Require Bird-Friendly Glass on Buildings

Hundreds of thousands of migratory birds smash into the city’s buildings every year. The city council just passed a bill to cut back on the carnage.

a map of future climate risks in the U.S.

America After Climate Change, Mapped

With “The 2100 Project: An Atlas for A Green New Deal,” the McHarg Center tries to visualize how the warming world will reshape the United States.

Grocery Stores Near Seattle Are Getting Vertical Farms

QFC, a Kroger chain, has added mini-farms to two of its supermarkets and will roll out 13 more in stores around Washington and Oregon.

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.