Environment

Mapping the Segregation of Metro Atlanta’s Amenities

A new mapping project shows how segregation is a matter of whether you have close access to a grocery store, hospital, bank, or park—amenities that influence your quality of life.

A ruby-throated hummingbird takes flight in a forest.

The Ancient Forests That Have Defied Urbanization

In cities around the United States, old-growth forests have survived against the odds. But preserving them is not as simple as roping them off from the public.

New homes under construction in St. George, Utah, in 2013

America's Fastest-Growing Urban Area Has a Water Problem

As St. George, Utah grows, it will have to cut down on its high water consumption or pay handsomely for it—or both.

Can Community Archives Survive Climate Change?

Rare books, records, and other printed materials in thousands of U.S. archives face elevated risks from natural disasters or changing temperatures.

A train arrives at Paris' Arts et Metiers metro Station.

Paris Gets Serious About Free Transit

The city is launching a study to explore the possibility of going fully fare-free.  

Mapping Puerto Rico's Hurricane Migration With Mobile Phone Data

Data from 500,000 smartphones reveals exactly where the island’s residents went after the storm, and when they came back.

A snowmobiler rides past sled dogs on Frobisher Bay in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada.

The Race to Save Arctic Cities As Permafrost Melts

As the ground shifts beneath their feet, officials in Canada’s Nunavut turn to creative engineering to save scarce homes—and plan for a future built on bedrock.

Tourists take a selfie on a beach in the coastal city of Larnaca, Cyprus.

Tourism's Climate Footprint Is Much Larger Than Previously Thought

The industry accounts for about 8 percent of global climate emissions, and that number is expected to rise.

A jogger runs in front of the Phillips 66 refinery in the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The Kids Trying to Green One of L.A.'s Most Polluted Neighborhoods

For generations, oil refineries brought jobs—and pollution—to the residents of Wilmington. Can a new generation of youthful activists make it a healthier place to grow up?

A plume of ash rises from Kilauea Volcano on May 3, 2018.

In Hawaii, Neighborhoods Are Being Displaced By Lava

Volcanic eruptions like this can have a long-term—and sometimes permanent—impact on the communities that live there.

An aerial view of Babcock Ranch near Fort Myers, which is projected to have 50,000 residents by the time it’s completed

Can a New 'Solar City' Make Suburbia Green?

People are starting to move into Babcock Ranch, an ambitious development in Florida more than a decade in the making. With a solar field and self-driving shuttles, it’s a suburb that its creators hope will be revolutionary.

The War on Cars, Norwegian Edition

Oslo is still planning to go car-free by 2019, thanks to an ambitious network of bike lanes. But old habits do die hard.

Commuters ride on one of Mexico City's new smog-free double-decker buses.

Mexico City Looks for New Ways to Tame Air Pollution

The city has made strides in clearing up its notorious smog, but progress has stalled in recent years.

Uber and Lyft Could Do a Lot More for the Planet

Carbon offsets and bike-sharing services are great. But the ride-hailing industry still hasn’t confronted the heart of the problem it has created.

People film a shower of cherry blossoms at a park in Tokyo, April 2, 2018.

Here's How Much Money Trees Save in Megacities

Trees’ benefits come out to a median value of $967,000 per square kilometer of tree cover, researchers estimate.

A rendering of a future floating city.

The Floating City, Long a Libertarian Dream, Faces Rough Seas

The Seasteading Institute wants to construct a network of ocean structures to liberate humanity from state control (and taxes).

Buildings in downtown Houston reflect the light of the setting sun.

Street Grids May Make Cities Hotter

By comparing buildings to water molecules, researchers found that the form of a city can intensify the urban heat island effect.

A heavy layer of smog over Paris

How Much Are You 'Smoking' by Breathing Urban Air?

A new app can tell you (and it’s not pretty).  

Made from plant fibers and water, Bio-lutions' packaging biodegrades in a matter of months.

Making Products With Crop Waste Could Improve India's Air and Water

A company that makes packaging out of plant fibers hopes to address two problems at once: air pollution from the burning of crop stubble, and landfills and waterways clogged with plastic.

London's Latest Exhibit: Horrendous Pollution

An exhibit invites the public to experience the air from five cities around the world.