Environment

Wakanda: The Chocolatest City

The new Marvel superhero movie Black Panther shows the benefits and the risks associated with sustaining and protecting a majority-black community.  

World map showing the 400-plus large cities that sit in biodiversity hotspots

Mapping the 'Conflict Zones' Between Sprawl and Biodiversity

If cities keep growing as they do now, nearly 400 of them will sprawl into the habitats of endangered species by 2030.

A man waters plants in a rooftop garden on top of Le Bon Marché department store in Paris.

Big Data Suggests Big Potential for Urban Farming

A global analysis finds that urban agriculture could yield up to 10 percent of many food crops, plus a host of positive side benefits.

A sign warns residents of water restrictions in Cape Town, South Africa, in October.

Cape Town Residents Adjust to a Water Diet

From showering in buckets to special pee spray, here’s how they’re coping with water restrictions.

A woman walks with her greyhound dogs along a path in the Durand forest near the French border.

Paris Plans a Suburban Forest Five Times the Size of Central Park

A green lung in the city’s northeastern suburbs.

The Uneven Gains of Energy Efficiency

Low-income Americans are more likely to live in housing that wastes energy, which saddles them with disproportionately high energy costs.

Why Rural Brits Outlive Rural Americans

A landmark study from 1842 found that even low-income country dwellers in the U.K. lived longer than their more-affluent urban neighbors; 175 years later, the story hasn’t changed much.

A worker at an indoor vertical farm in Newark, New Jersey.

The Promise of Indoor, Hurricane-Proof Vertical Farms

They might be an efficient way to produce food in a world with more-extreme weather—but only if growers can figure out a successful business model.

Solar panel installers work on the rooftops of some of Baltimore's poorest neighborhoods.

An Uncertain Future for Solar

Trump slapped tariffs on imported solar panels at a time when African Americans were seeing unique job growth in the industry.

In Cities, Coyotes and Foxes Are Learning to Get Along

Researchers say coyotes and foxes thrive in the city by defying their natural instincts to stay away from one another.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tours an urban greenhouse.

Is Personalized, Next-Day Delivery the Future of Urban Farming?

A rooftop-farming venture in Montreal has found success with a model that’s part CSA, part Amazon Prime.

Posters show the past and future of Saguaro National Monument, Arizona

What Will America's Iconic Parks Look Like in 2050?

An artist riffs on WPA posters to imagine how the country’s defining landscapes will look once climate change has taken its toll.

What Should Grow in a Vacant Lot?

Chris Swan is spending years studying a unique ecosystem—the vacant lots of Baltimore—looking for the best ways to bring the city’s dead spaces back to life.

A woman waits to collect spring water in Cape Town.

Life in Cape Town After 'Day Zero'

Once the taps are shut off in the drought-stricken city, water queues and strict rationing will become part of daily life for millions.

The Wheelabrator Saugus waste-to-energy plant

An Incinerator Divides a Town Near Boston

For some, the trash-burning plant is a community pillar, but others worry its toxic ash is making people sick.

Trump delivers his first State of the Union address.

Trump Doesn't Mention Climate Change in His State of the Union

“We have endured floods, and fires, and storms,” he said, without saying what made them all worse.

San Juan Mayor to Trump: 'Things Are Not OK'

“The botched effort of this administration really has caused lasting pain and even more havoc than the hurricanes themselves,” Carmen Yulín Cruz tells CityLab ahead of the president’s first State of The Union address.

More Lights, More Diseases?

An ongoing study suggests light pollution’s effects on animals can help spread some viruses, like West Nile.

Urban Bird Feeders Are Changing the Course of Evolution

More than 50 million Americans are conducting an unwitting experiment on a vast scale. I joined them from my Manhattan high-rise.

A bike-share station outside of Long Beach City Hall

How Long Beach Is Trying to Cool Down

Temperatures have soared in the Southern California city in recent years, but taming them presents its own set of challenges.