Los Angeles' skyline has none of the soaring spires that grace the Burj Khalifa or the Chrysler Building. Instead, it's uniformly flat, like someone took an axe to downtown and left only stumps of buildings. And it's all because of a piece of misguided regulation.
Yesterday we looked at the great "fattening" of New York and all the parts that are built on what basically amounts to trash. But it turns out that parts of the city have also disappeared—and for a few decades, New York even had 13 grand north-south avenues, not 12.
It's not the Illuminati, but there is a New World Order cropping up all around us — if we're willing to look closer and see.
Roughly 9,000 years ago, humans had mastered farming to the point where food was plentiful. Populations boomed, and people began moving into large settlements full of thousands of people. And then, abruptly, these proto-cities were abandoned for millennia. It's one of the greatest mysteries of early human civilization.
Sometimes the only thing more awe-inspiring than a city is a massive model of the city, rendered down to the finest detail. Here are some of the most obsessively-rendered models of cities that you'll ever see. And of course, they're to scale. Which is itself amazing.
It's been a quarter of a century since the Berlin Wall was torn down, and the city is still marked by the architectural remains from a generation of Soviet occupation. A new study of the city's residents suggests that east and west Berlin remain culturally divided too — though they are still happy with their lives…
Assuming we don't destroy ourselves in a mountain of toxic garbage, humans are going to start building more sustainable, environmentally-friendly cities. And that means a lot more animals will be sharing our cities with us. Here's a glimpse of what that might mean.
With a population of 23 million and growing, Beijing is dealing with a major housing shortage. That's why thousands of immigrants looking for affordable homes in the city are going underground — literally and figuratively. A thriving gray market exists for windowless apartments buried deep below the streets.
As cities grow, their populations become more diverse — on a species level. As we move into the future, many wild animals will be living in urban areas alongside humans and their pets. Now, urban planners are figuring out new ways to make urban species diversity possible — without killing anyone.
How far do New Yorkers walk to get to their nearest subway station? Ben Wellington calculated the distance from each of Manhattan's station entrances to every one of the borough's residential buildings, and found the Manhattan address with the longest subway-schlep of all.
It's one thing to know that cities are growing larger, and that over half the human population lives in a city. But when you see these maps charting the growth of megacities since the early 1900s ... well, it's stunning. It's especially incredible when you realize most cities exploded in size over the past 50 years.
Something bizarre happened overnight: New York City's population grew to the size of Shanghai's, swelling from 8 million people to 24 million. It's like a natural disaster, but this tidal surge is made of human needs. Here's how we'll rebuild the city to make room for them all.
The best way to cope with traffic is actually to make multi-lane highways smaller, not bigger. Several long-term studies have shown that "road diets" that shrink 4-line highways to 3-lane highways significantly decrease traffic jams and accidents. Atlantic's CityLab has the story.
Boston is a goldmine for urban archaeologists. The city's history goes back hundreds of years, and construction projects often unearth caches of historical items that are have been almost perfectly preserved. Such is the case with a buried outhouse, which revealed the naughty life of the lady who used it.
At almost the instant when humans started building cities, we figured out ways to put walls around them. The often violent history behind those walls is still affecting urban life today, in ways you may not realize.
We used to have white flight. Now, in city centers, we have something that one policy researcher calls white infill. So what happens when a bunch of white people start moving in? The changes are a lot more profound than getting a new Starbucks on the corner.
In many cities, it's become popular to hate "gentrifiers," rich people who move in and drive up housing prices — pushing everyone else out. But what's going on in these rapidly-changing urban spaces is a lot more complicated than that.
In Vietnam, the city of Hanoi is going through a population boom. It has grown by several million people in just a few decades, mostly due to migration from rural areas of the country. But unlike many other urban areas, it hasn't ever developed slums. One reason is the region's lack of regulation.
After major urban disasters, there are always stories about the stubborn people who refused to evacuate. They've survived incredible danger, or worse, they haven't survived at all. But this isn't because they're foolhardy. There are good reasons that people stay in their homes, to protect their property at all costs.