How Air Conditioning Created The Modern City
The shopping mall would have been inconceivable without air conditioning, as would the deep-plan and glass-walled office block, as would computer servers. The expansion of tract housing in postwar suburban America relied on affordable domestic air conditioning units.
The Empty Houses That Foreign Aid Built
After the devastation of the 2004 tsunami, aid agencies promised to rebuild Indonesia “better.” Fifteen years later, their failures are all too obvious. The disaster hit Aceh the hardest. The evacuation buildings are unmistakably the shiniest features of the city’s newly built landscape.
The Citarum: The World’s Most Polluted River
The Citarum River in Indonesia is the world’s most polluted river. One of the main polluters is the fashion industry: 500 textile factories throw their wastewater directly into the river. The filmmakers teamed up with international scientists to investigate the causes and consequences of this pollution.
How America’s Biggest Theater Chains Are Exploiting Their Janitors
The major chains — AMC, Regal Entertainment and Cinemark — no longer rely on teenage ushers to keep the floors from getting sticky. Instead, they have turned to a vast immigrant workforce, often hired through layers of subcontractors. That arrangement makes it almost impossible for janitors to make a living wage.
Shanghai’s Underwater Quarry Hotel
Extending 90 meters down into an abandoned quarry the 18 storey, InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland is a structure like no other. Located in the Sheshan Mountain Range, the hotel was conceived by Atkins for the Shimao Group as a unique destination to rival the extravagant resorts of Singapore and Dubai.
Can Tiny Houses Save Detroit?
Detroit is grappling with both devastating poverty and a hot real estate market. But Rev. Faith Fowler of the nonprofit Cass Community Social Services sees a way to remedy both: Develop tiny houses, and create a rent-to-own financing mechanism to help impoverished Detroiters become owners of those homes.
How We Can Cool Our Cities
With intensive development in urban areas and the impacts of global warming becoming ever more apparent, numerous cities around the world are now taking steps to reduce their temperatures and develop a more sustainable urban environment. Here are 3 innovative ways to bring temperatures down.
Beautiful, Dangerous, Damaged: Photographers’ Top Ocean Shots
Octopus-hunting freedivers, mounds of shark fins, and a close encounter with a leopard seal are among the judges’ selections for Oceanographic Magazine’s ocean photography awards.
Under The Weather
As psychiatrists and philosophers begin to define a pervasive mental health crisis triggered by climate change, they ask who is really sick: the individual or society?
How Cities Became Childless
American cities are getting more expensive, and families are being pushed out. Welcome to the future of urban living, where young people have to make a choice: money or babies?
Can Eco-Tourism Help Save The Ocean?
Indonesia’s Coral Triangle is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, but destructive fishing practices are threatening ocean life. Meet the conservation pioneers who are reviving these waters—bringing species back from the brink of extinction.
Why Fashion Is Worse Than Flying
The fashion industry accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater. And while the environmental impact of flying is now well known, fashion sucks up more energy than both aviation and shipping combined.
The Plant-Based Movement To Transition Farmers Away From Meat And Dairy Production
Two fledgling projects led by animal-welfare groups hope to offer a lifeline to struggling farmers by helping them trade animal agriculture for alternative proteins. The groups say the shift benefits animals and the environment, while boosting farmers’ economic outlook.
Future Shock In The Countryside
Conflicting populations already struggle against the seasonal chaos of floods and droughts. The large industrial centers that power fossil-fuel pollution are at risk—the Pearl River Delta is one—but disproportionate consequences are poised to fall upon areas that did little to contribute.
How An Obsession With Home Ownership Can Ruin The Economy
Many dream of owning their own home, and thanks to huge financial incentives in the rich world many have been able to so. But government policies to encourage home ownership were a huge mistake.
Dubai: Expectation vs Reality
Dubai – perhaps the best-known city of the United Arab Emirates, with a reputation for attracting the glamorous and the wealthy. Less than 5% of its GDP comes from oil, but it essentially has made its success through diversifying into property real estate, aviation, trade, banking and finance. But what’s going on beneath the surface?
Is Hollywood Doing Enough To Fight The Climate Crisis?
Amid the gathering storms, there is growing criticism that mainstream TV news organizations and storytellers in Hollywood haven’t done enough to raise public awareness of the need for action.
German Circus Uses Holograms Instead Of Live Animals For A Cruelty-Free Magical Experience
For a very long time, people couldn’t have imagined a circus show without horses, elephants, monkeys, and lions. But recently, Circus Roncalli has shunned tradition, swapping flesh and blood for hologram projections. The shows, however, remain just as spectacular.
Suburban Megastores Remade Into Libraries, Schools & Shelters
Across America, many malls have emptied out and thousands of abandoned big box stores sit empty, including hundreds of former Walmarts. Some, though, are getting creative new leases on life, becoming community markets, indoor tracks, gaming spaces, museums and more.
Detroit’s Salt Mine: A City Beneath The City
This gigantic mine, 1,160 feet beneath the surface, spreads out under Detroit over more than 1,400 acres with 50 miles of roads. A huge sea covering the region evaporated more than 400 million years ago, forming salt deposits that were gradually buried by glacial activity.
The Great American Tax Haven: Why The Super-Rich Love South Dakota
Last year billionaire Sun Hongbin quietly transferred $4.5bn worth of shares in his Chinese real estate firm to a company on a street corner in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Thanks to its relish for deregulation, the state is fast becoming the most profitable place for the mega-wealthy to park their billions.