America's Trains Suck Because Most Americans Don't Ride Them

Last week’s horrific Amtrak crash surfaced new concerns about the US’s neglect of its rail infrastructure, with blame falling on Congress for failing to allocate enough money to upgrade the system for safety. The truth is that trains would be the safest way to travel in this country—if more Americans embraced a future… » 5/21/15 5:10pm Yesterday 5:10pm

Long Beach Is Rethinking Its Taxis to Be More Like Ubers

Cities are doing a lot of hemming and hawing when it comes to the rideshare apps that are devouring their taxi businesses. In one of the more progressive moves, the Southern California city of Long Beach is revamping its taxi fleet with a big design and tech upgrade so they can tackle these startups head on. » 5/14/15 3:15pm 5/14/15 3:15pm

How Can I Get This Horse-Powered Garbage Truck To My Neighborhood?

I had just decided that the sanitation trucks which come rumbling down my street at dawn—spewing diesel, making my house shudder, flinging the occasional recycling bin across the street with their robot arms—are a necessary nuisance for a city dweller. Until I saw this trash collection service that uses horse-drawn… » 5/13/15 3:16pm 5/13/15 3:16pm

How Technology Can Help Cities Make Better Use of Storm Water

More than half the world’s population lives in metropolitan centers. The built environment of a city is very different from that of rural and natural areas. When it rains over a rural landscape, much of the rainwater sinks into the ground or is evaporated or transpirated by trees, crops and other plants. » 5/13/15 3:30am 5/13/15 3:30am

9 Designs That Could Finally Replace New Zealand's Controversial Flag

When New Zealand first raised its current flag, the design deferred to its United Kingdom rulers and bore a striking resemblance to another British colony next door. 100 years later, New Zealand is a diverse, sovereign nation which would also very much like to visually differentiate itself from the Aussies. So New… » 5/12/15 5:00pm 5/12/15 5:00pm

These Infographics Use Objects on City Streets to Show Urban Statistics

There’s been no shortage of street art trying to make a point about the inequality of cities. But here’s a clever idea that not only illustrates some horrifying facts, it also gives some real-world context that’s impossible to ignore: These infographics have been wheatpasted onto actual urban infrastructure right out… » 5/08/15 3:45pm 5/08/15 3:45pm

Walk through Shanghai as the rest of the chaotic city moves in reverse

This clever video perfectly captures the chaos of Shanghai—or any city, really—by showing how people can seem alone even if they’re surrounded by millions of people. JT Singh, the media artist in the video, walks forward while the rest of the world is walking backwards in the reversed footage and it’s so surreal to… » 5/07/15 8:00pm 5/07/15 8:00pm

Trying to Buy Water Rights Shows How Backwards Our Water Policy Is

Amidst all the dire drought news, you’ve probably been hearing about “water rights,” which are as weirdly abstract as they sound. So what’s the deal with water rights? Can you buy some yourself? When reporter Ryan Bradley sets out to get $500 of water rights in The Adaptors podcast, it gets pretty hairy. » 5/07/15 6:50pm 5/07/15 6:50pm