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

25

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. » 4/29/15 3:00am 4/29/15 3:00am

Resurrecting 1500-Year-Old Canals Could Fix Peru's Water Shortages 

Lima is one of the world’s largest desert cities, so when it rains it—just kidding, it pretty much never rains. Which leaves Peru’s capital city especially vulnerable to water shortages, and the surprising solution might be reviving a system of ancient canals that date back to even before the Incas. » 4/10/15 6:00am 4/10/15 6:00am

A Guide to Scientology's Most Ostentatious Real Estate

Empire-building has been part of many a religious group’s strategy throughout history. But no one does it better than Scientology. The documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, which debuted on HBO last night, offers the first in-depth survey of Scientology’s practices, including its ongoing… » 3/29/15 7:00pm 3/29/15 7:00pm

Welcome to the Rural Town That Wants to Build a Hyperloop Utopia

What do cities look like in the world of Hyperloop transit? Will supersonic travel turn our cities into vast, intermodal suburbs? And what about the edge towns that once bled into the country, fed by car travel—will they empty out and decay, eliminated by a new form of transportation that bypasses them? » 3/02/15 1:43pm 3/02/15 1:43pm

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 1:42pm 2/18/15 1:42pm

How Cities Decide What To Do With Snow

By all accounts, Boston is having one hell of a winter — no seriously, just look at that picture — which has given the mayor some problems, like there's no room left to put the snow. But it's not just Boston: keeping cities running despite feet of snow is a problem that's been bothering town leaders and urban planners… » 2/10/15 5:51am 2/10/15 5:51am

The Forgotten 13th Avenue That New York City Built and Then Destroyed 

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. » 1/30/15 1:03am 1/30/15 1:03am

Why Are So Many People Living Underground in Beijing?

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. » 10/10/14 4:30pm 10/10/14 4:30pm