When People In The 1920s And 1930s Imagined The Future, They Dreamed Big

The Space Age gave us some beautiful, rocket-shaped visions of future cities. But before World War II, people were already imagining sleek, beautiful structures. And floating airports. And air taxis. And Futurama, circa 1939! These are the most eye-popping videos of life in the future, from the 1920s and 1930s. » 4/01/15 3:00pm Today 3:00pm

The Most Isolated Town on Earth Wants a Radical Redesign 

Smack dab in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, 1,000 miles from human civilization, lies one of the most isolated towns in the world. It’s on an island called Tristan da Cunha, and for the first time, it’s looking to the outside world to plan its future.
» 3/31/15 6:10pm Yesterday 6:10pm

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 quest… » 3/29/15 7:00pm Sunday 7:00pm

Here Are the Water Restrictions California Should Have Passed Today

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 'Defensive Architecture' Is Ruining Our Cities

Cities have always struggled with the tension between the different needs of social classes who share the space. But as The Guardian documents, a new trend of defensive — and some times overtly hostile — architecture is changing the urban landscape, and not in a good way. » 2/21/15 6:30pm 2/21/15 6:30pm

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

The Best Drone's-Eye-View Shots of The World's Most Wonderful Cities

The world's greatest cities look even more magical from the air — but until recently, only a few people got to have the nimble aerial viewpoint on cities that a drone gives us. Drones have reshaped aerial filming, and created a whole new way of looking at cities. Watch some stunning drone footage of the world's… » 2/12/15 3:00pm 2/12/15 3:00pm

The Difference Between Where Tourists and Locals Take Photographs

Eric Fischer has made a project of sifting through geotagged information in order to produce beautiful maps of things like tweets. He's taken that one step further, sorting through the information to compare the places in cities where tourists (in red) and locals (in blue) take photos. » 2/09/15 1:30am 2/09/15 1:30am

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

Are Bicyclists Jerks, Or Are They Just Being Safe?

Do you disobey traffic laws when you're on your bike? I do, from time to time. So do a lot of other people. And we do it more, it seems, than we would in a car. Why is that? Are bicyclists contemptible jerks, or is there a method to our lawbreaking ways? » 1/10/15 10:00am 1/10/15 10:00am

The Plan to Build a Mega-Manhattan That Failed, Thank God

A Really Greater New York. That was the title of the 1911 proposal by an engineer and planner who imagined paving over massive amounts of New York Harbor to make room to build the New York of the future. Oh, you like the East River and would miss it? Too damn bad! » 1/08/15 3:13pm 1/08/15 3:13pm

America's Biggest Cities, Back When They Were Tiny Villages

Everything had to start somewhere — and the biggest cities in the United States are no exception. New York City, Chicago, Houston and other huge metropolises were once beautiful, charming villages. Check out the earliest known maps and images of the quaint little towns that became massive conurbations. » 12/24/14 3:00pm 12/24/14 3:00pm

Author Keller Easterling Is Here To Take Questions On Extrastatecraft

How does the infrastructure of our cities shape how we can live in them? Keller Easterling, architect and author of Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space is here to answer questions about global cities and the architecture and infrastructure that support them. » 12/18/14 9:28am 12/18/14 9:28am

Rock Star's Kid Tweets Surprising Photo of Beverly Hills Cougar

The story is really all there in the headline, but it's one of those stories that, it seems, can only happen in LA. » 12/10/14 12:58am 12/10/14 12:58am

The Wonderful Geometry Of Budapest's Spiral Staircases

There's just something magical and mysterious about a staircase that goes around and around, letting you glimpse all the levels above or below. Whether they're perfectly round or other shapes, spiral staircases are beautiful. And Budapest is full of Modernist architecture that includes some stairways to wonder. Here… » 12/08/14 3:00pm 12/08/14 3:00pm

Should Boston Become A City Of Canals?

Boston, like a number of coastal cities, is facing a tricky problem in the coming years: Sea levels are rising, and rising quickly, leaving cities more and more at risk for intense flooding. Could building a canal system help keep Boston high and dry? » 11/04/14 9:00am 11/04/14 9:00am

If You Really Want to See the Future of City Life, Watch This Video

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. » 10/30/14 4:00pm 10/30/14 4:00pm

These Grand Forgotten Craft Could Be The Last Hope Of Humankind

At least, that's what these people are hoping as they descend from the roof into the long deserted hangar, to find vessels that have been overrun by nature. What are the chances these babies can fly again? This artwork by Emanuel Shiu leaves us wondering. » 10/27/14 5:00pm 10/27/14 5:00pm

A Map Of What Different Cities In America Are Best At

Every city has something that makes it special, whether it's the Eiffel Tower or just the world's largest ball of yarn. But what are the skills that make your city unique? This map shows you what your city is best at, compared with other cities. » 10/23/14 9:35am 10/23/14 9:35am