RIP Donald Wexler: The Midcentury Architect Who Made Palm Springs Cool

The city of Palm Springs, California, wasn’t always known for its sleek, spare residential design. During the 1950s and 60s, architect Donald Wexler designed a particular style of building for the growing town that became known as Palm Springs Modernism—a look that’s become synonymous with the desert region and that’s… » 7/02/15 6:00pm Thursday 6:00pm

4 Droughts Happening Right Now That Are Worse Than California's

California and the American West are not the only places suffering from drought—in fact, there are several places in the world right now where overtaxed aquifers, severe pollution, and lack of rainfall are creating extreme water insecurity for residents. In some places, water is so scarce that municipal supplies are… » 7/02/15 2:40pm Thursday 2:40pm

I'd Live In These Apartments Built In the Middle of an Extra-Wide Street

Most American streets are far too wide, which uses up valuable urban space, is dangerous for pedestrians, and actually makes traffic worse. That’s why many cities are trying to hand over more street space to transit, biking and walking. But what if we took the lanes devoted to cars and turned it into housing? It… » 6/24/15 12:20pm 6/24/15 12:20pm

Will the Confederate Flag Ever Truly Go Away?

Before he shot nine black Americans at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, 21-year-old Dylann Roof posed for photos holding a symbol of racial hatred. The same symbol that’s worn on t-shirts, wrapped around beer coozies, intertwined with American pop culture. Even if the flag is removed from South Carolina’s… » 6/22/15 4:45pm 6/22/15 4:45pm

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

First Full-Color HD Videos Of Earth Taken From Space Are Amazing

Satellite imagery has become a part of our daily digital lives; we use stills of our planet to navigate to the mall, for goodness sake. But when those images are moving, the result is so stunning that it’s almost magical. UrtheCast has released the first full-color HD video of Earth shot from the International Space… » 6/18/15 2:58pm 6/18/15 2:58pm

Sneaky Nordstrom Tower Adds 71 Feet to Be the Actual Tallest US Building

Last time we checked in with the Nordstrom Tower, a superskinny supertall going up in Midtown Manhattan, a sneaky spire had been added to make it a hair taller than the US’s tallest spire at the World Trade Center. Now, new documents show another stealth move: The actual roof height will be taller than previously… » 6/16/15 8:55pm 6/16/15 8:55pm

Meet the People Who Are Wasting the West's Water on Purpose

On Friday, California passed its deepest water cuts yet, the state’s latest attempt to conserve a dwindling resource in a region crippled by drought. Yet there remains a small group of people in states throughout the West who continue to flagrantly waste water. Yes, on purpose. And it’s not just the wealthy. » 6/15/15 4:40pm 6/15/15 4:40pm

Google's New City Startup Needs to Find the Autonomous Car of Housing

Yesterday, Google announced a new incubator exclusively focused on urban issues. While more maps and apps are great, let’s hope the startup can use this platform to work on a solution for the biggest problem facing cities: Housing the 2.5 billion people who are going to move into them by 2050. Google needs to create… » 6/11/15 5:00pm 6/11/15 5:00pm