Environment

Hotter Cities Could Be Deadly for Americans Without Shelter

Rising temperatures caused by climate change will be especially dangerous for people who live exposed to the elements.

The head of a cobra

When There’s a Snake in the House, These Guys Can Help

In the Indian city of Madurai, a volunteer group deals humanely with emergencies of the reptile kind.

A photo of high-rises in Songdo, billed as the world's "smartest" city.

Sleepy in Songdo, Korea’s Smartest City

The hardest thing about living in an eco-friendly master-planned utopia? Meeting your neighbors.  

A man in a raincoat walks through knee-high water behind his house.

More Than 300,000 U.S. Homes Could Flood Regularly by 2045

A new study finds that at the high end of predicted sea-level rise, many thousands of homes in the U.S. could flood 26 times a year.

Sunlight falls on a row of graves through tree branches.

‘Aquamation’ Is Gaining Acceptance in America

Some people see water cremation as a greener—and gentler—way to treat bodies after death, but only 15 states allow it for human remains.

Waterfalls descend to a large reservoir surrounded by forest.

Why Bogotá Should Worry About Its Water

Colombia’s capital depends on a unique ecosystem called páramos for its water supply. Environmental advocates warn that the páramos are now threatened by climate change and other factors.

A golfer tees off during the first round of the 2005 Irish Open.

Dead Golf Courses Are the New NIMBY Battlefield

As the sport’s popularity wanes, vast amounts of underutilized land will open up. Can it be developed?

A red-crowned parrot perches on the roof of an apartment building behind a palm tree.

The Case for ‘Sanctuary Cities’ for Endangered Species

Non-native animals and plants often arrive in cities by happenstance and carve out ecological niches for themselves. But if cities were more deliberate about biodiversity, they’d take in well-suited species that are struggling elsewhere.

A man hikes alone in nature.

Stressed Out? Go Outside, and Go Alone

Spending time by yourself in nature is good for mental health, and can make you a better leader.

A worker climbs among skylights on the "living roof" at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, a LEED Platinum building.

Is LEED Tough Enough for the Climate-Change Era?

Twenty years ago, the U.S. Green Building Council piloted its LEED certification, which has reshaped architecture and real estate. But how much does it dent buildings’ energy use?

This Is the Last Straw

It’s time to crack down on single-use plastic drinking utensils, the world’s most disposable product.

Shoes left at the Hurricane Maria memorial near Puerto Rico's Capitol in San Juan

Thousands of Shoes Honor Hurricane Maria’s Victims in San Juan

In San Juan, an improvised memorial has become the focal point for grief and anger after the publication of a new, much higher estimated death count.

Michael Bloomberg awards cities for creating innovative projects to tackle climate change in 2016.

One Year After Trump Left the Paris Agreement, Who’s Still In?

City and state coalitions just announced they’ll be setting their own climate goals.

Debris left behind in Ellicott City, Maryland, after catastrophic flooding on Sunday.

When the Water Came for Me

In just a few hours on Sunday afternoon, the residents of Ellicott City, Maryland, became climate refugees. Here’s what that feels like.

In Search of the ‘Just City’

Toni Griffin, one of the leading black women in architecture and design, is leading her students at Harvard in envisioning and designing the "just city." And it looks different in Boston than it does in Rotterdam.

A man who lost his home during Hurricane Maria sits in a wheelchair at a school turned shelter in 2017.

America Isn’t Ready for Disability Disaster Response This Hurricane Season

FEMA and the Red Cross talk a good game, but the disability community is skeptical.

A view of Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi Comes Up for Air

Grassroots environmental activism is on the rise in the capital of post-Soviet Georgia.

Floodwaters surge through Ellicott City, Maryland

America Is Flooding, and It’s Our Fault

Floods like the one that devastated Ellicott City on Sunday are not “natural” disasters outside our control—we can reduce the impacts and risks if we resolve to.

Public school buses are parked in Springfield, Ill.

The Yellow School Bus Needs a Green Makeover

The diesel-sucking dinosaurs from your childhood are due for an update.

Could Congestion Charges Work in Latin America?

Something must be done as car sales increase and cities grow. A new study envisions a plan for Mexico City, Bogotá, and Santiago, but says improving public transport is essential.

Underestimated Flood Risk Could Crash the American Housing Market

On the coastlines of America, many home buyers are ignoring the new realities of storms and floods—and, in too many cases, the government isn't helping.