Environment

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.

A tall modern building made out of wood rises next to a small harbor.

The Timber Architecture Revolution Has Arrived in Norway. (Almost.)

Forest-rich Norway is a leader in building with lower-carbon structural wood. But it still lacks factories that can turn trees into building parts.

Photo: Harrison Ford on the set of Ridley Scott's seminal 'Blade Runner,' set in the grim future of November 2019.

How ‘Blade Runner’ and Sci-Fi Made Everything Dystopian

Science fiction, especially Blade Runner, has spawned so many dystopias that dystopia itself has become banal. We need a new utopianism that embraces the city.

photo: A firefighter works to clear a house destroyed by a wildfire in Los Angeles.

California Contemplates a Dark and Fiery Future

A fresh round of wind-fanned wildfires and planned power outages is darkening the fate of Pacific Gas & Electric, the state’s largest electric power utility.

Electric cars are plugged into a charging point in London

Can Green License Plates Help Plug Electric Cars?

The U.K. government wants to boost sales for ultra-low-emission vehicles by offering special number plates—and perks—for EV drivers.  

a photo of rose-ringed parakeets in London

The Urban War on Invasive Species Cannot Be Won

Madrid has pledged to cull its population of monk parakeets. But once non-native fauna and flora gain a foothold in the city, they can be hard to remove.   

How to See Fall Colors Without a Car

Americans often hit the road to see fall foliage, but it can be difficult to take the same trip without a car. These places make it a little easier.

a photo of the Florida youth engagement initiative TEMPO

When Resilience Starts With the City’s Most Vulnerable Youth

A violence-prevention initiative in Tallahassee is also training low-income youth for jobs that contribute to the city’s climate adaptation plan.

a photo of Extinction Rebellion climate change protesters in London

When Climate Activists Target Public Transit

The climate protest movement Extinction Rebellion is facing a backlash after disrupting commuters on the London Underground.

The Buoyant Ecologies Float Lab

Designing the Floating Future

A prototype in the San Francisco Bay is testing a vision for floating buildings built to withstand sea-level rise. And it’s distancing itself from some other utopian visions for floating cities.