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

How Did Hanoi Grow So Big Without Developing Slums?

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. » 8/13/14 9:20am 8/13/14 9:20am

This Isn't a Utopian Vision -- It's Actually What London Is Like Today

There's a common sense idea that cities are the opposite of nature. And yet if you look at this visualization of green space and gardens in London, what you'll find is that this giant metropolis contains more plants and wildlife than buildings. » 6/17/14 3:24pm 6/17/14 3:24pm

1920s London Underground Posters Remind Us That Trains Are Wonderful

Remember the Roaring Twenties, when the future looked like Metropolis and cities were going to become battalions of marching skyscrapers? In these colorful 1920s ads for the London Underground, trains never felt so much like the transport of tomorrow. » 2/06/14 3:00pm 2/06/14 3:00pm

Yes, the Google Bus is affecting rental prices in San Francisco

The Google bus riots were one of the most futuristic protests that the San Francisco Bay Area has ever seen. But is the protesters' rage against rich techies misplaced? According to one city planner, there is some truth to the idea that these shuttles raise rents. » 1/28/14 1:17pm 1/28/14 1:17pm

How to shelter from fallout after a nuclear attack on your city

Terrorists have detonated a low-yield nuclear warhead in your city. How long should you hide, and where, to avoid the worst effects of radioactive fallout? We talked to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory atmospheric scientist Michael Dillon to find out. » 1/16/14 1:20pm 1/16/14 1:20pm

When people lived in abandoned streetcars on San Francisco's beach

The idea of sustainable living off the grid isn't new. In fact, people in San Francisco were doing it in the late 19th century, when they started moving into abandoned street cars along Ocean Beach. They modified the cars, created sidewalks, and eventually the area was dubbed "Carville." » 1/09/14 1:28pm 1/09/14 1:28pm

The city at level 10 was nothing like level 2

Rising up through the glowing levels of the city, you could see the grime slowly peeling away. As the windows became cleaner, it was easier to see how much more expensive the furniture and machines were in the upper level apartments too. » 1/07/14 5:00pm 1/07/14 5:00pm

9 Extraordinary Underground Cities

Humans like to build cities that reach for the sky, but sometimes they also build downward. Whether for protection, or just because they can, we've created many cities beneath the Earth's crust - or dug deep into the rocky faces of mountains. Here are nine of the most awesome. » 1/01/14 11:31am 1/01/14 11:31am

The Best of io9's Science and History Stories in 2013

This year, io9 brought you in-depth explainer stories on topics ranging from physics and history, to cognitive science and the politics of teaching evolution in schools. Here are 23 of the most exciting ones which you may have missed. » 12/23/13 11:39am 12/23/13 11:39am

A mysterious law that predicts the size of the world's biggest cities

For the past century, an obscure mathematical principle called Zipf's law has predicted the size of mega-cities all over the world. And nobody knows why. » 12/09/13 1:40pm 12/09/13 1:40pm

The world beneath the sidewalk

There's an entire world under your feet, saturated by colors out of space and patrolled by colonies of bandit animals. Once in a while, you are able to visit. Here is what it looks like. » 11/25/13 5:08pm 11/25/13 5:08pm

I Want to Stand on These Incredible Balconies and Take in the View

A balcony isn't just for standing on and declaring yourself master of your domain. It's also a beautiful architectural feature that can turn an ordinary building into something fantastic. These are some of the most amazing balcony designs we've ever seen. » 11/12/13 3:21pm 11/12/13 3:21pm

People are building enormous farms in the ruins of Detroit

Detroit isn't a decaying city anymore — it's a city in transition. Though its population dropped by 50 percent in the past half-century, and roughly a third of its buildings are abandoned, the place is coming to life again. Farmers are taking over the industrial wastes. » 11/01/13 4:40pm 11/01/13 4:40pm

This crosswalk is the result of scientific testing

Here's a story about how a little coat of paint save thousands of lives (and probably many more). Before World War II, there weren't too many automobiles in Britain. But after the war, when cars started taking over the world, things started getting unacceptably fatal. Scientists had to invent a new kind of crosswalk. » 10/11/13 8:40am 10/11/13 8:40am

These Futuristic City Wallpapers Will Take Your Breath Away

These gorgeous images of futuristic cities are postcards from a future world where humanity has managed to survive and thrive. Make these your wallpapers and escape to the world of tomorrow! » 10/10/13 4:35pm 10/10/13 4:35pm

Apocalyptic short film shows us Paris with all the people "deleted"

What would the most crowded parts of Paris look like without any people in them? That's what travel-focused filmmakers Claire and Maxime wanted to find out. The two hate crowds, and wanted to see their city with only animals in it. The result is gorgeous and haunting. » 9/25/13 11:40am 9/25/13 11:40am

Bubble mansions are popular in the asteroid belt this year

These are not "McMansions." Their domes are made with 100% organic polymer chains, fabricated by artisanal molecular foundries. And the homes inside are all sustainably manufactured out of locally-mined carbonaceous compounds and minerals. So they're good for the asteroid belt environment, and great for you! » 9/23/13 5:00pm 9/23/13 5:00pm

8 Ruined Cities That Remain a Mystery to This Day

The world is full of ruined cities, but some have such mysterious rises and falls that they haunt our imaginations. Even if we know who built them, certain aspects of the city may simply defy comprehension in the modern age. Here are 8 ancient cities that we may never fully understand. » 9/02/13 1:40pm 9/02/13 1:40pm