Environment

A photo of a túngara frog

City Frogs Are the Sexiest Frogs

Two new studies show how certain animals can adapt to the din of human activity in surprising ways.

A photo from the COPS24 climate conference in Katowice, Poland.

How Cities Can Lead on Climate Change Solutions

The latest United Nations climate change report paints a dire picture, but IPCC co-chair Debra Roberts says urban residents have a critical role to play in addressing the crisis.

Tesla vehicles sit in a parking lot in California.

America’s Power Grid Isn’t Ready for Electric Cars

The challenge isn’t just about how much energy electric vehicles will need. A more important question is when they’ll need it.

The dramatic, triangular National Australia Bank building in Melbourne's Docklands.

Is ‘Climate-Positive’ Design Possible?

Advocates say we could design city buildings and neighborhoods that cancel out more carbon than they emit, with the right policies and mindset.

A photo of Mexico City residents gathering drinking water in buckets.

Fighting for Water and Life in Mexico City

The Mexican metropolis is a city of vast inequality, and access to water reflects that.

An oil derrick and wind turbines stand next to each other on plains in Texas.

Why This Republican Mayor Spoke at Bernie Sanders’s Climate Town Hall

“The future is working in renewables, and it’s not working in coal,” Dale Ross, the mayor of Georgetown, Texas, tells CityLab.

A man driving a bulldozer and workers with pitchforks clean up dead fish on Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach, Florida.

How Florida Counties Dealt With the Red Tide’s Stinking Mess

The 2018 red tide deposited many tons of dead fish and other marine debris on Florida’s beaches. Local officials had to figure out how to clean it up.

Cranes build new buildings in Berlin, Germany.

Berlin’s Massive Housing Push Sparks a Debate About the City’s Future

The German capital has vowed to build 200,000 new homes, with half reserved for affordable rents. But where can they go?

A Disaster of Our Own Making

California was always going to burn—but it should have happened differently.

a photo of a house demolition in Detroit

Appetite for Deconstruction

To battle blight, builders must imagine at the beginning of a structure’s life what will happen at the end of it.

The charred remnants of a building in Paradise, California, destroyed by the Camp Fire.

How California Cities Can Tackle Wildfire Prevention

Wildfires like Camp and Tubbs are blazing with greater intensity and frequency, due to factors including climate change and urban sprawl. How can cities stay safe?

Firefighters battling the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, California.

Communities of Color Are More Vulnerable to Wildfire

A study finds census tracts that are majority black, Hispanic, or Native American experience about 50 percent greater vulnerability to wildfire.

A view of the Eiffel tower and the Paris skyline.

Cities Around Paris Strike a Rare Agreement to Ban Diesel Cars

France’s most comprehensive car ban marks an important moment of cooperation for oft-quarreling municipalities.

Flames engulf a house and car in Paradise, California.

Photos: Wildfires Are Decimating California Cities

Northern California’s Camp Fire has destroyed thousands of homes and claimed many lives. Meanwhile, the Southern California Woolsey Fire has left much of Malibu under mandatory evacuation.

How One City Kickstarted the Ozone’s Recovery

In 1987, two dozen countries agreed to take steps to protect the atmosphere. For Irvine, California, that wasn't enough.

A close-up of the arms and suckers of a giant Pacific octopus in an aquarium tank.

What an ‘Octopus Census’ Near Seattle Found

Once a year, the Seattle Aquarium enlists local divers to search for giant Pacific octopuses in the Puget Sound.

Ahead of the midterms, Representative John Culberson talks to local residents while campaigning on foot in Houston.

Extreme Weather Is Now an Election Issue

In Texas’s 7th district, congressional candidates have sparred over the response to Hurricane Harvey. Elsewhere, climate change, floods, wildfires, and red-tide algae are factors in the midterms.

‘Environmentalist’ Doesn’t Just Mean White and Wealthy

A new study refutes some common stereotypes of who cares most about the environment.

A boy scavenges through a pile of trash in a market in Beirut.

As Beirut’s Trash Crisis Drags on, Children Recycle to Survive

Official waste management in the Lebanese capital is inadequate. Informal scavengers help fill the gap, but many are refugee children.

The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, U.K., is a work of Modernist architecture not unlike TB facilities of the same era.

How the Tuberculosis Epidemic Influenced Modernist Architecture

Light, air, and hygiene were not just aesthetic preoccupations of the early Modernists: They were the best treatment for tuberculosis at the time.

An illustration with people at Mount Royal Park overlooking the Montreal skyline.

How Montreal’s Largest Park Tackled Its Raccoon Problem

“When tourists arrive with food that is often very high in calories and in fat, they’re going to very quickly lose their fear of humans.”