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How This Simple Landscaping Project Quiets an Airport's Roar

Two years ago in the Netherlands, artist Paul de Kort designed an 81-acre park near Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. His assignment? To use nothing but landscaping to dampen the noise of airplanes. Such a project had never been attempted—and a crucial element of the design was discovered almost by accident. » 6/17/15 10:07am 6/17/15 10:07am

A Smart Modular Roadway Could Ping Workers When It Needs To Be Replaced

Autonomous vehicles get all the glory in our ideal transportation future, but they’re gonna need somewhere to drive. Our streets are seriously lagging, technology-wise. Enter smart roadways that can alert crews when they need to be repaired—and then can be swapped out as easily as Lego bricks. » 4/28/15 5:00pm 4/28/15 5:00pm

7 Endangered Examples of the Most Hated Architectural Style Ever

It’s hard to find a more polarizing architecture—even among scholars it’s most likely to be described as “ugly,” “unloved,” or even “hated.” I’m talking about Brutalism, the blocky unfinished concrete style which used to be very common in cities around the world, but is now being demolished at an astounding rate. » 4/20/15 4:51pm 4/20/15 4:51pm

Is Crazy Tech Really the Answer To Keeping People On Bikes Safe?

Inflatable helmets, glow-in-the-dark spray paint, a laser that makes a temporary bike lane—a heck of a lot of products have hit the market recently pledging to keep cyclists safer. But is it the responsibility of people on bikes to use any gadget necessary to stay safe? Or is this distracting from the bigger… » 4/15/15 1:30pm 4/15/15 1:30pm

LA's New Parking Signs Are Brilliant and Every City Should Copy Them

In the quest to make parking suck less, there are apps that help you find a space, and meters where you can pay with a swipe of your credit card. But LA has launched a simple, low-tech solution to make parking better: Well-designed signage that offers no ambiguity whatsoever when it comes to where you can park, when… » 4/06/15 2:00pm 4/06/15 2:00pm

No Cars Will Be Allowed on This Stately New Bridge in Portland

It was 1973 the last time a new bridge opened over Portland's Willamette River: a double-decker span with eight lanes of freeway. Times have changed. When the Tilikum Crossing Bridge opens later this year, it will be one of the few in the U.S. that's purpose-built for transit, bikes and pedestrians—no cars allowed. » 3/18/15 7:40pm 3/18/15 7:40pm

How Disasters, Emergencies, and Survivalism Are Shaping Home Design

You peer warily out of the single window in your zombie-proof steel box. The street seems deserted—except for a lone figure who is staring at you from a distance. Is it 2079, in the years after the Great Drought Plague!? No, it's 2015 in Royal Oak, Michigan, and that zombie is a curious local Fox reporter. » 2/18/15 1:15pm 2/18/15 1:15pm

10 Hidden Details in Your City and What They Mean

There was plenty of outrage earlier this month when a London storefront revealed sidewalk spikes meant to keep the homeless from getting too cozy. While these shiny prickles did seem especially Temple of Doom-ish, they weren't all that unusual: There are plenty of little details designed into our cities that tell us… » 6/25/14 9:00am 6/25/14 9:00am

The New High Line for Queens Could Include This Human Roller Coaster

If you could build your own High Line, what would it look like? That's the question the QueensWay Project, an effort to turn an abandoned stretch of railway in Queens into an elevated pedestrian and bike path, recently asked designers to answer. Some of the winners announced today are truly wild. » 2/12/14 4:20pm 2/12/14 4:20pm

5 Radical Ideas To Protect Coastal Cities From the Next Big Storm

A bridge that deploys huge inflatable buoys to slow storm surges. A barrier reef grown from minerals harvested by electrical currents. An artificial island protecting the most surge-prone neighborhoods. Most of us are bracing for a blizzard this week, but the winners of a recent design competition, Stormproof, are… » 1/02/14 9:00am 1/02/14 9:00am