December 12, 2017, 5am PST
When it comes to "smart city" plans, there might not be a bigger blockbuster than the partnership between Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs, a unit of Google's parent company, Alphabet.
January 9, 2014, 12pm PST
Over the last several decades, researchers have examined how our cities deplete natural resources and change the climate and ecosystems of their surrounding areas. But new evidence shows that such impacts aren't a purely modern phenomenon.
August 27, 2013, 9am PDT
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is bound up in intersecting issues of place, history and geography, among other things. Two Israeli architects believe architecture and urban design can help lead to an agreeable solution.
August 4, 2013, 11am PDT
In the 1980s and 90s, a pair of accomplished architecture firms were asked to design restaurants for the world's most famous, and formulaic, fast food chain. See what happened when the avant garde rethought the golden arches.
June 21, 2013, 1pm PDT
Published to coincide with World Refugee Day, Smithsonian has assembled an interactive map of the 50 largest refugee camps in the world. Many of the camps, which together house 1.9 million people, are comparable in size to medium-sized U.S. cities.
May 9, 2013, 12pm PDT
With Earth Engine, Google has compiled decades of images taken by Earth-observing satellites. The tool is meant for "scientists, independent researchers, and nations...to detect changes, map trends and quantify differences on the Earth's surface."
May 8, 2013, 7am PDT
Jimmy Stamp decodes the mysterious color-coded markings used by public works departments around the country to indicate underground infrastructure.
April 30, 2013, 7am PDT
Jerry Adler examines the emerging field of “quantitative urbanism,” which aims to use mathematical formulas to unveil and explain the universal properties shared by cities.
April 24, 2013, 1pm PDT
How did childhood visions of future cities differ for kids growing up in the 1980s when compared to the 1960s or today? Matt Novak shares a short film from 1983 that captures the prescient urban visions of students.
April 5, 2013, 2pm PDT
Ever wonder what downtown Boston looked like on the eve of the Civil War? This photograph taken from a hot air balloon by James Wallace Black is thought to be the oldest aerial photo still in existence. Google Earth eat your heart out.
March 15, 2013, 7am PDT
Claire Martin examines research conducted by engineering firm Arup and the Clinton Climate Initiative into the actions that cities are taking to reduce their emissions and identifies five cities, including one surprise, that are leading the charge.
August 24, 2012, 11am PDT
Former <em>Times</em> architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff pens a profile of the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, whose "most provocative—and in many ways least understood—contribution to the cultural landscape is as an urban thinker."
June 27, 2012, 6am PDT
Back in 2001, Jim Starry proposed a radical rethink of airport design, with inclined runways and gates on top of terminals and parking lots. Lost in the 9/11 shuffle, Sarah Rich takes a second look at the idea.
April 22, 2012, 1pm PDT
With the help of a little GIS wizardry, Susan Spano and Aviva Shen map the 20 most cultured small towns in the U.S., from Gig Harbor, WA to Naples, FL and everywhere in between.
September 1, 2011, 7am PDT
Pollution is threatening the structural integrity of the Taj Mahal, prompting local officials to scramble for ways to preserve the historic site.
May 15, 2011, 1pm PDT
In the 1920s, when the concept of a big city like New York was still new to many Americans, one newspaper columnist brought the city to small town America.
April 14, 2011, 10am PDT
A city in decline for decades, Cleveland is showing signs of recovery, according to this article from <em>Smithsonian</em>.
December 17, 2010, 11am PST
This collection of photographs from <em>Smithsonian</em> documents the construction of the recently opened bypass bridge at the Hoover Dam.
August 4, 2010, 6am PDT
Urban agriculture is becoming a well-known idea all around the world. Most of it is done at the small-scale, but there's still the idea of creating large skyscraper farms to feed our cities. <em>Smithsonian</em> takes a look at the idea.
August 26, 2009, 9am PDT
<em>Smithsonian</em> explores micronations, tiny utopian city-states that strike out on their own - whether or not their current government recognizes their independence.