Environment

An illustration of a statue of Walt Disney between two nuclear cooling towers.

Disney World's Literal Nuclear Option, Explained

Florida politicians may expunge an old law that gives Disney World the right to build its own nuclear plant. But they probably don’t need to bother.

The coast of Vieques island off Puerto Rico.

Tesla’s Busted Solar Panels on Vieques Are a Cautionary Tale

After Hurricane María plunged the island off Puerto Rico into darkness, Tesla’s arrival heralded the dawn of a microgrid future. But it wasn’t that easy.

New Ideas for Paris's Outdated Infrastructure

After a criticized first installment, the city's design competition has a wider talent pool and a fairer distribution of commissions to redesign urban sites.

An orange-and-black monarch butterfly alights on an outstretched hand.

Designing the Butterfly-Friendly City

With the population of the distinctive species in decline, cities around the U.S. are trying to add monarch-friendly spaces.

a photo of U.S.-Mexico borderlands

Instead of a Border Wall, Why Not a ‘Clean Energy Corridor’?

Building solar panels and wind turbines along the U.S.-Mexico border, say scientists, could unite demands for a Green New Deal and stronger border security.

A map of environmental justice policies in the U.S.

Which Cities Have Concrete Strategies for Environmental Justice?

Historically, local zoning codes and land-use laws have enforced segregation. Now, cities are using the same tools to enact environmental justice.

The Urban Planning Vision of Leonardo da Vinci

Following a typical Renaissance trend, he began to work out an “ideal city” project, which, due to its excessive costs, would remain unfulfilled.

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo speaks at a podium as people photograph him.

Why Indonesia Wants to Move Its Capital Out of Jakarta

Jakarta has 10 million people and is sinking faster than any other city in the world. But there are other factors involved in its relocation plan.

The Manhattan skyline at night.

Can New York Make Buildings Super-Efficient, Fast?

By 2030, the city’s large buildings must cut their carbon emissions by 40 percent. Here’s how that can happen.

A photo of a newly pedestrianized area of central Brussels in 2015.

In Car-Choked Brussels, the Pedestrians Are Winning

The Belgian capital is one of the most congested in Europe. But an ambitious suite of street makeovers is pushing traffic outside the central city.

The outside of a large apartment building, dotted with air conditioners.

What If Air Conditioning Could Help Stop Climate Change Instead of Causing It?

Using technology currently in development, AC units in skyscrapers and homes could get turned into machines that pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

A photo of Denver's skyline with mountains in the background.

The Town That Extended ‘Smart Growth’ to Its Water

As Western states grapple with drought, Westminster, Colorado, has become a model for its integration of water data into the planning process.

A photo of activist Linda Garcia standing in front of train tracks and an industrial facility.

How Linda Garcia Stopped an Oil Terminal From Coming to Her Neighborhood

The Vancouver, Washington, activist is among the six 2019 winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize.

The Enduring Beauty of the Hudson River

Even in the 1800s, painters were meditating on its natural beauty in the face of human exploitation.

A goblin figure in a tree trunk talks to visitors at a forest theme park.

This French Theme Park Doesn't Sugarcoat Its Environmental Message

DefiPlanet, a nature-themed family attraction in France, has a surprisingly blunt message for visitors: “The earth will soon be dead and torn.”

Electricians install solar panels on a roof for Arizona Public Service company in Goodyear, Arizona.

A Bottom-Line Case for the Green New Deal: The Jobs Pay More

A Brookings report finds that jobs in the clean energy, efficiency, and environmental sectors offer higher salaries than the U.S. average.

A group of students talk as one tests a pedal-free bicycle they have built.

How an Ancestor of the Bicycle Relates to Climate Resilience

Architecture students in Buffalo built their own versions of the "laufmaschine," a proto-bike invented in response to a 19th-century environmental crisis.

No, Puerto Rico’s New Climate-Change Law Is Not a ‘Green New Deal’

Puerto Rico just adopted legislation that commits it to generating all its power from renewable sources. Here’s what separates that from what’s going on in D.C.

a photo of a beach in Hawaii

Could Hawaii Be Paradise For Hydrogen-Powered Public Transit?

As prices drop for renewable power, some researchers hope the island state could be the ideal testbed for hydrogen fuel cells in public transportation.

A large crowd packs Independence Mall, with Philadelphia buildings in the background.

What Happened to Earth Day?

In the beginning, it was a policy-shaking event that awakened a new generation of activists. But now even environmentalists have misgivings about it.