Environment

Workers in a recycling facility sort material on a conveyer belt.

How American Recycling Is Changing After China’s National Sword

Times have been hard for U.S. recycling since China tightened its contamination standards, and local programs are trying to adjust.

A Modest Proposal to Eliminate 11,000 Urban Parking Spots

Amsterdam plans to systematically strip its center of parking spaces in the coming years, making way for bike lanes, sidewalks, and more trees.

Two high-school students stand in a field inspecting corn stalks.

Why More City High Schoolers Are Taking Ag Classes

Complete with crops and farm animals, agriculture programs are exposing city students to careers they might not have otherwise considered.

Solar panels on the tiled roof of a two-story house.

Why Germans Are Buying Batteries With Their Solar Panels

Solar home storage has morphed from a niche product in Germany to one with enormous mainstream potential.

A forking path in the forest at Van Cortlandt Park in New York City.

America’s Management of Urban Forests Has Room for Improvement

A new survey finds that urban forests could benefit from better data on climate change and pests and a focus on social equity.

Aerial view of heavily flooded homes in Bellevue, Nebraska.

‘Unprecedented’ U.S. Flood Season Will Imperil Millions, Experts Warn

Two-thirds of the lower 48 states will have a heightened risk until May, NOAA forecast says, after severe flooding in the Midwest.

Women and girls walk down a road carrying water on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India.

For Water Systems That Work, Look to Women

In many countries, women collect water and manage its use in the home, but they are underrepresented in decision-making about this vital natural resource.

Is Our Green Future Battery-Powered Cities?

In episode 4 of the podcast Technopolis, we consider how energy storage could change everything about how we turn on the lights and get around town.

A cyclist rides through a desert park and nature preserve in Phoenix.

The Inequality of America’s Parks and Green Space

New research finds that income, education, and race are correlated with access to green space across and within U.S. metro areas.

a photo of a man on an electric bike riding through heavy smog in Shanghai, China.

To Avoid Climate Disaster, Urban Transportation Must Change, Now

Cities have a key role to play in confronting climate change, and it starts with shared mobility—and taking back the streets from the private car.

Children demonstrating over climate change in central London.

Why American Kids Are Joining the Global Climate Strike

“If the adults are going to screw up our entire future, we have to do something about it,” said one young activist joining the global Youth Climate Strike.

A photo of murals on homes in Medellin, Colombia

The Secret Ingredient of Resilient Cities: Culture

Investing in cultural cohesion and preservation can help rebuild cities devastated by war or natural disasters, says a new World Bank report.

How #Trashtag Inspired People to Clean Up Their Parks

A social media challenge had people across the globe cleaning up beaches, parks, rivers—and urging their friends to get in on the action.

Sorry, Houseplants Don’t Really Purify the Air in Your Home

The science is clear: Even the most enthusiastic indoor gardeners don’t have enough vegetation to make a difference in air quality.

A giant fake mosquito perches on a city bus shelter.

Oh, the Places Mosquitoes Will Go!

Because of climate change, Aedes aegypti and Asian tiger mosquitoes will move north in large numbers, a new study finds.

To Fund the Green New Deal, Understand How the New Deal Actually Worked

The narrative of big-spending government programs isn’t quite right. The New Deal took great strides to encourage private investment.

To Fight a Pipeline, Live in a Tree

For the past year, environmental protesters have led an “aerial blockade” of tree-sitters along a proposed natural gas pipeline in the Appalachian Mountains.

A photo of Lake Erie water looking green from algae.

Why Toledo Just Gave Legal Rights to Lake Erie

In a special election this week, voters supported a controversial ballot measure giving Lake Erie the right to “exist, flourish, and naturally evolve.”

a photo of Interstate 5 in Portland, Oregon

Portland Promises a ‘Green’ Highway Expansion. It’s Not.

Here’s why Oregon officials claim that widening Interstate 5 will actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Monks Mound terraces, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Illinois.

Ancient Poop Reveals Role of Climate Change in Cahokia’s Downfall

The decline of the famed prehistoric city near modern-day St. Louis is at least partially a story of climate change.