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 Yesterday 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 Tuesday 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 Tuesday 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

Why Cybersecurity Threats Are About to Get Much, Much Worse

Let me state the obvious just to get it out of the way: our nation's cybersecurity sucks and everybody knows it. The president knows it. The Pentagon knows it. And, worst of all, the hackers know it, too. That's why I'm so alarmed by a new Pew Internet survey that says we'll likely get hit with a deadly cyberattack by… » 10/30/14 3:34pm 10/30/14 3:34pm

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 10/28/14 5:23pm

Philadelphia's Newest Park Is Built on Top of a Sewage Overflow Tank

Venice Island, which officially opened this month in Philadelphia, has all the amenities you might expect from a nice city park—gardens, basketball court, amphitheater—but also something unexpected: a 4 million gallon sewage overflow tank. And you know what? A park built on top of the sewer is a very good thing. » 10/17/14 3:56pm 10/17/14 3:56pm

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

Chicago was raised over 4 feet in the 19th century to build its sewer

In the middle of the 19th century, Chicago embarked on a quest to literally lift itself out of the mud. Water couldn't drain from the low-lying city, so its streets became impassable swamps. The most reasonable solution, Chicago decided, was just to raise the whole goddamn city by 4 to 14 feet. » 10/15/14 1:34pm 10/15/14 1:34pm

Explore the Largest Steam Pipe System in the World, Hidden Beneath NYC

In its latest adventure, New York Times' Living City series explores the city's enormous underground steam distribution system. Unlike anywhere in the world, New York hides away the largest steam system that powers all types of humidification sources, preserving museum art to even dishwashers in every restaurant… » 10/09/14 4:34pm 10/09/14 4:34pm

The US Doesn't Have Enough Railroads to Keep Up With the Oil Boom

Passenger rail has never been known for punctuality (at least in this century), but over the past year, Amtrak's long distance passenger trains have reportedly gone from being late 35 percent of the time to being late 60 percent of the time. But don't blame Amtrak—it's being forced to make way for the thousands of… » 10/09/14 3:18pm 10/09/14 3:18pm