Here's a Highly Rational, Totally Plausible Fix For Drought In Cities

One big myth about Los Angeles that keeps resurfacing during the drought is that LA is a desert. But that’s wrong—it gets quite a bit of rain every year. As do many actual deserts. The key to preventing scarcity is rethinking how to use the water that gets delivered there naturally. And one simple idea around this… » 6/25/15 1:27pm 6/25/15 1:27pm

How LA Used Big Data to Build a Smart City in the 1970s

The concept of “smart cities” seems like a contemporary urbanism trend. But as early as the 1960s, cities were using technology to gather, interpret, and visualize civic data. Here’s how a 1974 report by Los Angeles’s Community Analysis Bureau used computer databases, cluster analysis, and infrared aerial photography… » 6/22/15 11:15am 6/22/15 11:15am

You Can Now Get Your Waze Directions Directly From The Terminator

Whether you’re casually avoiding T-1000’s in the San Fernando Valley or involved in a high-speed chase in the bed of the LA River, your navigation can now be voiced by a Terminator Cyberdyne Systems Model 101, thanks to Terminator Genisys’ new partnership with Waze. And yes, it’s really Arnold telling you where to go. » 6/15/15 8:07pm 6/15/15 8:07pm

The LA Dodgers Got Their Name From Brooklyn's Deadly Streetcars

Most people know that the blue-hatted Los Angeles Dodgers were once the Brooklyn Dodgers. But while you may have assumed that the “Dodgers” moniker referred to avoiding a tag or stealing a base, the true story is more complicated. That’s because the Brooklyn Dodgers were once the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers—and those… » 6/10/15 8:00pm 6/10/15 8:00pm

I Can't Wait To Ride In These Autonomous Drone Taxis

We keep hearing how technology will eventually solve the problem of vehicular traffic for good. Self-driving cars will only get us halfway to that future—they’re still cars, clogging up our roads, speeding down our freeways. The personal mobility future that I’m waiting for includes autonomous drone taxis that can… » 6/09/15 5:30pm 6/09/15 5:30pm

Surviving the Drought

Since the drought began in California, my mom has become even more overzealous about conserving water. “The lawn is all brown blotches,” she giggled before I went home to visit last summer. “I turn off all the sprinkler but I think Marcelino turns it on.” Marcelino is our neighbor. He is retired gardener who sometimes… » 6/05/15 12:14pm 6/05/15 12:14pm

If We're Going to Do Celebrity #DroughtShaming Let's Do It Right

In April, snitchy Californians lodged 22,000 water-wasting complaints that resulted in 838 penalties issued. And guess what? The state reduced overall water use by 13.5 percent. It’s evidence that these kinds of reporting efforts might be working. What’s not really working? Posting photos of celebrity homes on Twitter. » 6/03/15 4:20pm 6/03/15 4:20pm

Ask Your Questions About Finding and Mapping Lost Urban History

Los Angeles is no stranger to failed infrastructural schemes and vanished landscapes. But did you know that a nine-mile bike highway once traveled part of the way from LA to the nearby city of Pasadena? It’s one of 19 map-annotated essays about the city featured in the new book LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas. » 4/29/15 2:00pm 4/29/15 2:00pm

Spectacular aerial photos of Los Angeles shows it like you never seen it

Photographer Vincent LaForet took his camera and a helicopter and captured the City of Angels at night like no one has ever done before. The detail in each shot is unbelievable and the colors almost feel unreal. It’s like seeing a neon glow spread itself all across the giant, beautiful city that is Los Angeles. » 4/28/15 7:37am 4/28/15 7:37am

An 1899 Plan to Build A Bike Highway in Los Angeles (And Why It Failed)

Over a century ago, the California Cycleway promised an elevated, dedicated bike path from Los Angeles to the nearby city of Pasadena. In this excerpt from the new book LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas, author Dan Koeppel tracks its path through Southern California—and discovers why it was never finished. » 4/27/15 4:35pm 4/27/15 4:35pm

Video: Imagining how beautiful cities would look without light pollution

It’s easy to remember how big the universe is when you can just stare up at the night sky and find an uncountable number of stars and see every color of the cosmos staring right back at you. But it’s not like that anymore. Now we’re surrounded by city lights of our own creation and hiding the rest of the universe… » 4/21/15 11:41pm 4/21/15 11:41pm