Can Architecture Perform Miracles? The Quest to Make Gaudi a Saint

Visiting the dripping sand castle basilica that is the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona could definitely be described as one of the most awe-inducing moments of my life. A spiritual experience? Perhaps. But is it a miracle? That's what a group of believers are trying to prove in their campaign to make its architect,… » 7/29/14 2:57pm Yesterday 2:57pm

The Self-Perpetuating, Globe-Circling, High-Speed Train from Snowpiercer

The entirety of the film Snowpiercer takes place on a train—a very special train that I can't stop thinking about. The movie itself is great—we've followed the film here due to its unique distribution plan to be made available on-demand platforms just weeks after being released in theaters—but to be honest, I was… » 7/28/14 8:00pm Monday 8:00pm

Poor Doors, Hot Trains, Old Ads: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

It's hot pretty much everywhere and everyone's in a horrible mood. Which means there is plenty of ruining of cities to be had—so much so, that I've had to double up on this week's selections. From a plan to plunge Russia into darkness, to a steamy, sweaty Tube in London, it's What's Ruining Our Cities: The Dog Days of… » 7/27/14 4:00pm Sunday 4:00pm

This Dreamy Drone Tour Shows the Rebirth of Downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles's swiftly mutating downtown is usually viewed at street level. Now, thanks to filmmaker Ian Wood, we get a top-down perspective of the city's transformation in this gorgeous video, which he shot with a lightweight remote-controlled quadcopter and camera system. 20 stories up, there's change afoot as well. » 7/25/14 4:49pm Friday 4:49pm

Google Maps App Now Gives Suggestions Based on Weather and Time of Day

The Google Maps app has proved invaluable for the intrepid urban explorer in navigating the city. Now a new update for iOS and Android can provide specific contextual details about what's around you depending on your location, time of day, and even the weather. So if it's raining (or about to), it will warn against… » 7/23/14 7:46pm 7/23/14 7:46pm

How To Scan 50 Miles of Historical Documents Into an Online Archive

Tracking the lightning quick development of modern cities is easy with Google Street View, but a big new project aims to provide context for the past 1,000 years of urban evolution in Venice, Italy. The Venice Time Machine will digitize and catalog a staggering amount of historical documents—a combined 50 miles worth… » 7/23/14 5:20pm 7/23/14 5:20pm

This 45-Story Slum Could Finally Become a Finished Skyscraper

There is perhaps no unfinished skyscraper more infamous than Torre de David, a 45-story shell of a building that has informally housed about 5,000 Venezuelans since 2007. Now the property that has become known as the world's tallest slum is being acquired by Chinese investors, and this week, the government began… » 7/23/14 4:34pm 7/23/14 4:34pm

The Lattice of Tubes Covering This Building Are a Natural AC System

If you have ever sweated through a summer in the city, you can thank those skyscrapers all around. Tall buildings trap heat that create urban heat islands. But what if you could create a building that cools the city instead? A building skin made of a series of tubes with evaporating rainwater can do just that. » 7/22/14 3:48pm 7/22/14 3:48pm

Why Google Is So Interested In Kenya's Transit System

The thousands of graphics-covered minibuses called matatus that zip through Nairobi make up one of the largest (and liveliest) informal transportation systems in the world. This unregulated—some might say renegade—transit keeps the city moving rather efficiently, and, until recently, was an all-cash business. Until… » 7/17/14 4:07pm 7/17/14 4:07pm

6 Buildings Competing For the UK's Top Architecture Prize

The Stirling Prize is one of the most prestigious of all architecture awards. Named for the great British architect James Stirling, the prize is given annually from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to a single building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture. The shortlist has… » 7/17/14 9:00am 7/17/14 9:00am

Chicago Wants To Install Superconducting Cable To End Power Outages

With the threat of terrorism and extreme weather perennially perched on the horizon, Chicago's getting creative with its infrastructure upgrades. The city's primary power company, Commercial Edison, is planning to install superconducting cables to prevent outages in the city center. Why doesn't every city do this? » 7/16/14 6:00pm 7/16/14 6:00pm

These Are the 11 Most Endangered Places In America

Americans tend not to be too nostalgic when it comes to our past—but in some cases, it's resulted in the loss of priceless pieces of history. That's why the National Trust for Historic Preservation puts out a "most endangered" list of important building and places that aren't long for this world—unless someone… » 7/15/14 9:00am 7/15/14 9:00am

See How Much of NYC a Taxi Driver Sees in a Single Day

Everybody's wondered what it's like to be a taxi driver. Whether riding in the back of a cab contemplating your existence or watching a Robert De Niro movie, we've all contemplated how many passengers it takes to make a day's wages. Now, thanks to some clever code, you can watch it play out before your very eyes. » 7/14/14 3:40pm 7/14/14 3:40pm

Why Smooth Surfaces Make Your City Sizzle in Summer

It's not just you, city-dwellers. Urban areas actually do get noticeably hotter than the rural areas around them, and that's especially problematic in summertime. Why does that happen? Well, a new study says it all has to do with the aerodynamic shape of your city. In other words, the smoother your skyline, the… » 7/10/14 12:40pm 7/10/14 12:40pm