Boston's Thinking of Building Canals Like Venice Because Climate Change

Imagine taking a scenic gondola tour through Boston's historic Back Bay as Red Sox fans saunter towards Fenway over arched bridges. Not far away, the Charles River Basin is padded by wetlands that soak up the rising sea water. This surreal scene, a sort of Venice in New England, could be the reality in a few years. » 10/28/14 5:23pm Tuesday 5:23pm

Saving This Sinking City Will Cost $40 Billion

Venice? Sure, it's sinking. So is Mexico City, Bangkok, and Ho Chi Minh City. But none of them are being submerged as fast as Jakarta, which is sinking as much as a few inches a year—for comparison's sake, Venice is sinking by .08 inches every year. Now, Jakarta is undertaking a three-decade-long plan to save its… » 10/15/14 3:36pm 10/15/14 3:36pm

This Ghostly Town Spent 25 Years Underwater Before Resurfacing

At one time, Epecuén was a booming resort city: a grand town on a beautiful lake, attracting vacationers from all over Argentina in the 1920s with its revitalizing salt waters. There were hotels, nightclubs, and restaurants. Today, it's a thicket of bleached white ruins, latticed with rusted steel and fallen power… » 10/02/14 1:30pm 10/02/14 1:30pm

4 Enormous Projects That Could Save Coastal Cities In Our Flooded Future

The tides are rising. The only question that remains is how—and whether—we prepare our cities for it. As you might expect, the cities taking the most decisive action are the ones that have been hit the hardest most recently, like Sandy-battered New York, or partially-submerged Venice. » 9/15/14 9:00am 9/15/14 9:00am

Tiny Changes in Earth's Gravity Can Help Predict Floods Months Away

When the Missouri River spilled over its banks in a catastrophic 2011 flood, we could have seen it coming—from space, that is. There's more to the story than meets the eye: the satellites don't take photos of snowpacks or rivers, but rather, they detect tiny changes in gravity over the Earth's surface to track water. » 7/08/14 3:00pm 7/08/14 3:00pm

Storm-Proofing NYC Will Cost At Least $11 Billion, But It's Worth It

Humans are almost universally bad at planning for the distant future—most of us would rather live in blissful, unprepared ignorance than think about our Roth IRA. The same goes for cities: Dealing with the next storm is way easier than spending many billions of dollars to protect us from storms 20 years down the road. » 5/02/14 1:20pm 5/02/14 1:20pm

Berlin Is Threatened From Below By Its Rising Water Table

While the American West stumbles forward into an already dangerous drought—and it's barely even summer—Berliners are simply not using enough water. This means that the city's water table is now on the rise, and it's beginning to threaten the city's buildings from below. Some basements have already been affected. » 4/13/14 5:00pm 4/13/14 5:00pm

Why We Don't Design Our Cities to Withstand 1,000-Year Floods

The floods in Colorado are being described as "Biblical," and for once that word seems to fit. Boulder, for example, usually gets around 15 inches of precipitation annually. This year, that amount has fallen in the ten days since September 9 alone. On September 12, they received nine inches in one day. » 9/19/13 11:00am 9/19/13 11:00am

Planning For the Next Sandy, Manhattan Building Installs a $250k Gate

After Hurricane Sandy blew through New York in October, the lion's share of media coverage focused on the beachfront, where damage was most visible. In lower Manhattan, though, the nine-foot storm surge took a subterranean toll, ruining millions of dollars worth of mechanical systems and forcing many developers to… » 4/16/13 10:40am 4/16/13 10:40am