The Tricentennial Tower is Like the Space Needle With Gondolas

US Thrill Rides, the company that plans to bring us the world's tallest roller coaster, has just unveiled designs for its latest project: The Tricentennial Tower, a 320-foot tall structure that looks like the Seattle Space Needle with a gondola ride slapped on. » 3/14/15 10:00am 3/14/15 10:00am

The World As Seen By a Self-Driving Car

For self-driving cars to work safely, we need better mapsmuch better maps. These maps will not only need to know where the roads are. They'll need to show real-time details as general as traffic patterns and as specific the number of inches to the curb. They'll also need to cover millions of miles worth of road. » 12/15/14 1:55pm 12/15/14 1:55pm

These giant pipes help keep an entire city safe

You may think this is some real life level of Mario Bros. Or that it's an organ pipe made for a robot giant but it's actually one of the pump stations that keep beautiful New Orleans safe from flooding. It sucks in water from one side and spits it out on the other. » 7/15/14 9:19pm 7/15/14 9:19pm

Watch How American Cities Grew Through Thousands of Historic Maps

Good thing it's almost the holiday weekend and you don't need to be productive because the USGS just launched a heck of a time-wasting website. Now you can explore cities through beautiful old maps, some dating all the way back to 1884. But here's the best part: You can mix and match many maps to tell your own… » 7/02/14 6:00pm 7/02/14 6:00pm

Why Brad Pitt's Nonprofit Is Building Homes for Native American Tribes

Make It Right launched in 2007 to rebuild homes in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Now the nonprofit founded by Brad Pitt has moved on to other communities in need—and its next project will be building sustainable homes for Native American tribes in Fort Peck, Montana. » 6/23/14 5:20pm 6/23/14 5:20pm

Beautiful photos of haunted New Orleans

Born and raised in New Orleans, Frank Relle takes us round his home town in these hauntingly atmospheric nightscapes. Frank uses long exposures and some serious lighting—mounted on stands sometimes three stories high—and works with city authorities to shut down street lights during his shoots. » 5/19/14 10:13am 5/19/14 10:13am

Quakes, Brands, 7-Story Buildings: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

This week! Why a huge earthquake didn't actually cause all that much devastation in Chile. How a not-so-tall building could be the end of a New Orleans neighborhood. And where brands killed Manhattan. Let's take a look at What's Ruining Our Cities. » 4/04/14 5:40pm 4/04/14 5:40pm

Redesigning New Orleans for flooding, new buildings in Williamsburg that don't suck, and a skyscraper in L.A. that will soon be the tallest west of Chicago. Plus: Google's urban expansion and dying department stores, all in this week's Urban Reads. » 2/19/14 1:20pm 2/19/14 1:20pm

The Mississippi River Is A Land-Making Machine: Dredgefest 2014

For the last four years, the Dredge Research Collaborative has been looking at dredging and erosion control as a form of often unacknowledged landscape architecture. Part of their work is a series of festivals they're calling DredgeFest that celebrate and examine the role that dredging plays in landscaping. Their next… » 1/09/14 9:40am 1/09/14 9:40am

New Orleans Gets the Country's First Vending Machine-Equipped Taxis

Occasionally you'll luck out and climb into a taxi cab with such amenities as free tissues, discarded newspapers, or all the tourist pamphlets you can carry. But if you find yourself in New Orleans, you might end up in one of the 250 vehicles in the Orleans Carriage Cab fleet that now feature soda-dispensing vending… » 3/22/13 4:20pm 3/22/13 4:20pm

Watch This Gorgeous and Terrifying Simulation of Hurricane Katrina as…

This dramatic visualization of hurricane Katrina masterfully captures the monster storm for a period of 1.5 days as it gathers strength over warm ocean waters. » 1/04/12 8:40pm 1/04/12 8:40pm

Ominous Abandoned Six Flags Is a Few Zombie Hordes Short of the…

A video adventurer was daring enough to infiltrate this abandoned Six Flags outside New Orleans—derelict since Hurricane Katrina—and record footage. The environs are haunting, to say the least—and we watched with the expectation of some zombie cameos. » 11/04/10 4:00pm 11/04/10 4:00pm

World's Biggest Water Pump Under Construction In New Orleans, Would've…

The Army Corps of Engineers has broken ground on a serious construction project: a 150,000-gallon-per-second, $500m pumping station charged with keeping the city of New Orleans a little, uh, dryer than it has been in the last few years. » 8/18/09 6:20pm 8/18/09 6:20pm

Gargantuan NOAH 'Ark' Proposed to New Orleans with Straight Face

How do you know when your building plan has gotten unnecessarily crazy and pretentious? When it's named after a Biblical figure who was fabled to save life as we know it...that might be a clue. » 8/18/09 10:33am 8/18/09 10:33am