A Failed Lab Experiment Accidentally Invented a Replacement For Cement

As the world’s cities expand at faster and faster speeds, so does its use of cement. One oft-quoted statistic shows that China alone used as much cement in the last three years as the US used in the last 100. Just one problem: Cement is responsible for pushing a hell of a lot of carbon dioxide into the world. » 4/16/15 2:00pm 4/16/15 2:00pm

Tokyo Has the Largest Underground Water Tank in the World

This enormous, cathedral-like building is the main water tank of the Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel facility in Kasukabe City, 19 miles north of Tokyo, Japan, which is one of the most famous water infrastructure complex in the world, and also the world’s largest underground flood diversion… » 4/10/15 9:00pm 4/10/15 9:00pm

How Wild Animals And Cities Are Adapting To Each Other 

From coyotes camping out in Queens bars to giant snails eating houses in Florida to llamas roaming the streets of Phoenix, there’s no shortage of sensational news featuring wild animals infiltrating our cities. But these brilliant ever-adapting creatures are also finding new ways to live among us humans, and some… » 4/09/15 2:05pm 4/09/15 2:05pm

The Plan to Build an Undersea Cable Around the US—and Why We Need It

There’s a new undersea cable in the works, unlike any system that’s been built before. It is almost 10,000 miles long. It winds under the Arctic Ocean, from the United Kingdom, over Canada, and down to Japan, offering the fastest possible route between London and Tokyo. It stops on icy Canadian shores along the way,… » 4/08/15 10:45am 4/08/15 10:45am

That Time New York City Wanted to Put Highways On Top of Its Skyscrapers

Some might say New Yorkers had more money than sense in the Roaring Twenties. Somewhat profoundly, John K. Hencken's idea to build highways on top of skyscrapers in Manhattan required both. Bummer about that stock market crash—otherwise these elevated boulevards might have been built! Emphasis on the might have. » 3/30/15 6:10pm 3/30/15 6:10pm

A Simple Design Tweak May Keep Drunk People From Falling On Train Tracks

The number of deaths linked to drunk passengers who wander off the platform and onto the tracks has steadily increased over the years. But a new study of these falls shows that many of them occur in the same way—and that there might be a few simple ways to prevent some of them. » 3/30/15 11:05am 3/30/15 11:05am

This 370-Mile Highway Made of Ice Stretches Through Canada Every Winter

For vast majority of the year, the only way to reach remote but lucrative gold and diamond mines in Canada's northwest is by air. But every winter, something crazy happens. A 370-mile long highway is built almost entirely on ice—and it's strong enough for 70-ton trucks laden with fuel and supplies. » 3/24/15 2:55pm 3/24/15 2:55pm

Our Cities Could Become High-Density Solar Power Plants

Solar energy has a dark side. Those gargantuan plants that sprawl out like deconstructed disco balls sacrifice valuable open space and put wildlife, and possibly human lives, at risk. A new study by Stanford researchers says that focusing our solar energy efforts in already-developed urban areas could yield more… » 3/17/15 5:35pm 3/17/15 5:35pm

Welcome to the Rural Town That Wants to Build a Hyperloop Utopia

What do cities look like in the world of Hyperloop transit? Will supersonic travel turn our cities into vast, intermodal suburbs? And what about the edge towns that once bled into the country, fed by car travel—will they empty out and decay, eliminated by a new form of transportation that bypasses them? » 3/02/15 11:20am 3/02/15 11:20am