There's Millions of Dollars Worth of Gold and Silver in Sewage  

There's gold in them thar sewers—and silver and platinum and copper, too. A study by Arizona State University (ASU) researchers estimates there is $13 million worth of precious elements in the sewage produced by a million-person city every year. Never think of sewage as stinky worthless waste again. » 1/16/15 6:40pm 1/16/15 6:40pm

My Climb to the Top of New York City's Tallest Wind Turbine

New York City is no stranger to wind energy. Just this past year, quite a few small wind turbines popped up on roofs all over the city. But when New York's newest, biggest recycling facility decided to build the waste-munching powerhouse of the future, they weren't going to settle for anything less than the tallest… » 1/15/15 1:10pm 1/15/15 1:10pm

To Fix Midtown, You Must First Break Midtown 

New York has fantastic public transit. It's by far the best in the country. Sorry not sorry. But there is one way in which it falls short: There are meagre ways to get across town, especially at critical points like 42nd street, where you must either choose NYC's shortest and nastiest subway line or the snarling mess… » 1/14/15 9:00am 1/14/15 9:00am

A New Glimpse Into the Gigantic Construction Project Hidden Below NYC

What do you want to be when you grow up? A baseball player? A doctor? A blogger (LOL)? How about a badass who carves caves through the Earth to improve the lives of millions in America's greatest city? That sounds pretty heroic. And right now, hundreds of hard hat-wearing workers are tackling that grand task » 12/18/14 2:53pm 12/18/14 2:53pm

Protests, Slums, Bass Pro Shops: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

Protesters are shutting down freeways, bridges, and tunnels across the U.S. The country's largest shantytown is being dismantled in the heart of Silicon Valley. And a proposal from a famous outdoor retailer could threaten Memphis's strangest landmark. It's What's Ruining Our Cities this week. » 12/07/14 3:00pm 12/07/14 3:00pm

Highway sound barriers were first proposed to keep movie studios quiet

Los Angeles is widely considered to be the home of the freeway. It's also considered to be the home of the film industry. A fascinating story from Nate Berg over at Re-Form chronicles the way that two emerging forces which would come to define LA ended up making the sound of our ever-noisier roadways (somewhat) more… » 12/03/14 4:16pm 12/03/14 4:16pm

How Facebook Is Hacking Together a Better Data Center 

Data centers are boring. They have to be; these are spaces of control, consistency, security. You wouldn't expect to find much creativity inside the plain facades of these highly-regulated structures—much less hacked-together experiments involving robotic Blu-ray storage systems and thousands of Mac Minis.
» 12/03/14 1:20pm 12/03/14 1:20pm

Subway Etiquette Posters From 1970s Japan Are Just as Relevant Today

Don't smoke in the train station. Don't spit your gum on the floor. And please, god, don't splay your legs out like no one else is around you. These sound like basic rules of today's public transit, but they're actually messages that graced the walls of Tokyo's subway forty years ago. » 11/27/14 9:00am 11/27/14 9:00am

What's Your Worst Holiday Travel Horror Story?

We all have one of those holiday travel stories. That time you got to the airport and realized you forgot to click the buy button on the ticketing site. That time you stepped onto the train platform and the zipper on your suitcase broke sending all of your sweaters onto the tracks. That time you got on a bus and your… » 11/25/14 6:20pm 11/25/14 6:20pm

1 Out of Every 9 Bridges in the US Is Structurally Deficient

There are about 630,000 bridges in the United States, ranging from impressive new structural creations like Margaret Hunt Hill bridge in Dallas to deteriorating slabs of concrete in desperate need repair. It's that last growing group of bridges, ports, and highways that represent the slowing decaying infrastructure… » 11/25/14 2:32pm 11/25/14 2:32pm

The World's First Solar Road Is a Bike Path in the Netherlands

There are only so many roofs in the world, so the Dutch are getting creative about where to put their solar panels. SolaRoad is exactly what it sounds like—solar panels that pull double duty as road surface and electricity generator. And this being the Netherlands, they of course made a solar road for bikes. » 11/05/14 1:54pm 11/05/14 1:54pm

This Algae Farm Eats Pollution From the Highway Below It

A highway overpass is the last place most of us would think to install a farm. But algae, that wonderful little ecological miracle, is different. Since it consumes sunlight and CO2 and spits out oxygen, places with high emissions are actually the perfect growing area. Which is why this overpass in Switzerland has its… » 10/31/14 10:51am 10/31/14 10:51am