Keeping bees in Buffalo, pouring concrete in Los Angeles, and using the subway as a data-collection tool in Moscow. Plus, both Time and the Wall Street Journal examine our high-rising ways. Take a peek at this week's Urban Reads.

  • "As a city, Buffalo has some characteristics that are beneficial for undercover beekeeping. It has a wealth of abandoned industrial zones and vacant lots, as well as lower-rent areas where police patrols are noticeably sparse. Farrington also suggests that neighborhoods with large immigrant populations are more accepting of beekeeping, because it's a more common practice in other countries." The secret life of Rust Belt beekeepers [Grist]
  • Designing factories with environmental impact in mind [The Guardian]
  • High-rise residential projects are sprouting in cities nationwide... [Wall Street Journal]
  • ...because more Americans want to live in cities, not suburbs [Time]
  • That time Cleveland released 1.5 million balloons and chaos ensued [Gizmodo]
  • "As Marchesano did the math, he wondered if the site had room for the pumps needed to ferry the concrete from mixing trucks into the pit. He turned to the computer geeks down the hall, wizards at plotting and spinning in cyberspace the footprint of the construction site and the surrounding streets. They found room for 19, more than enough, and calculated their placement, each within a foot. Anything out of alignment, and Marchesano would have a safety hazard and traffic jam on his hands. With each pump averaging 100 cubic yards an hour, the job would take approximately two shifts and no more than a weekend." How engineers orchestrated the largest continuous concrete pour in history [Los Angeles Times]
  • Reclaiming urban alleys as vibrant public spaces [Issue Media Group]
  • How a group of researchers are using the Moscow subway system to collect data on commuter behavior [The Polis Blog]
  • The way we board airplanes makes absolutely no sense [Vox]

Top image by Laura Brunow Miner, who you should be following on Instagram. Got an image you'd like us to share? Tag it #gizmodocities or drop it in the comments.