Urban green spaces are suffering in a changing climate, just as communities have begun to value them more than ever. How can city authorities channel this enthusiasm to make public parks and gardens more resilient?
By 2050, global cities could produce 3.88 billion tonnes of waste every single year — unless we do something about it. Can the circular economy save us from drowning in our own wastefulness?
The modern world has left a legacy of polluted land and wasted materials, but the science of remediation is developing rapidly, and helping to unlock hidden value. Could yesterday’s trash be tomorrow’s treasure?
Humankind’s most useful invention has become its biggest problem, and one that just won’t go away. What can we do about plastic?
Waste has always had a disproportionate impact on low-income communities, but social and environmental goals don’t always align neatly. How can we clean up past mistakes, and create a fairer future?
Global cities consume and discard an incredible amount of materials, contributing to climate change and destroying environments. This four-part series explores strategies for creating a circular economy, remediating old landfills, eliminating plastic pollution, and dealing with waste in a more equitable way
Excessive artificial light in cities is not only annoying and unpleasant, it’s harmful to human health and natural systems. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest types of pollution to tackle, says Annukka Larsen
After COP 15, biodiversity must become a mainstream part of corporate strategy, says Margot Greenen. Companies have everything to gain by helping nature to recover — and much more to lose if they don’t
We are just starting to realize how profoundly cities impact life outside them. Let’s use these new insights to find a more sustainable balance
Decarbonization will mean doing everything differently. Policymakers and planners can use this momentum to unblock the potential of lagging regions
The zero-carbon economy will create new industrial heartlands — but sustainable growth depends on many other factors, too
It’s hard to justify new infrastructure in shrinking regions when there’s congestion elsewhere. So maybe we need to rethink how we calculate value
Within countries, the gulf between rich and poor regions has never been so wide. How can we arrest the decline of post-industrial areas, and stop major cities from sucking them dry?
Water infrastructure is often underground out of sight. New digital tools can make the invisible visible, and offer a solution to the perennial problem of leaking pipes
Major users can no longer take water for granted. Climate change is forcing companies to confront an array of heightened risks — from shortages and flooding, to reputational damage and conflict with neighbours
Aotearoa New Zealand is taking a radical approach to water management — based on Māori principles that prioritize the health of water above all other needs
Climate change is altering rainfall patterns, and making both floods and drought more frequent and more extreme. To survive and thrive in the 21st century, we need to rethink our relationship with water and the way we manage this most precious of resources
The Alaskan village of Shaktoolik is on the frontline of climate change, and the community faces a difficult decision. A risk assessment that combines traditional knowledge with advanced modelling aims to put them in control of their future
Reusing heritage buildings avoids unnecessary carbon emissions and preserves the fabric of our towns and cities. We just need to reimagine them for a net-zero future
The green transition will require a massive increase in the supply of critical minerals. Urban policymakers need to understand cities’ extractive footprint — and the impact of their choices, says Kevin Beauchamp
Timber buildings sequester and store carbon — until they’re demolished. So why don’t we design them for a second life, asks Thomas Musson
Is going to the office good for our wellbeing? Michael B Friedman offers a psychological perspective on the part-time city
In October 2021, the United Nations Human Rights Council recognized for the first time that access to a healthy environment is a universal right. UN Special Rapporteur David R Boyd explains why this matters
The rise of online deliveries by car, van or truck is choking our cities. Micromobility could make “last mile” logistics cleaner and healthier — as well as faster and more cost-effective, say Graham Pointer and Shifani Sood
There is no shortage of promising solutions for reaching net-zero, but there are no easy answers either
High-containment labs are among the world’s most secure buildings. Three teams take on the challenge of making them into smarter workplaces
Smart buildings are useless if people can’t interpret the reams of complex information they generate. We need to completely rethink the interface between human and machine, says James Kinch
We can’t build a net-zero world without using steel and concrete, and these industries are relying on the same limited pool of green resources as many others to decarbonize. In this series, The Possible explores the tough choices ahead
As things stand, almost all decarbonization roads eventually lead to CCUS technology. But there are currently fewer than 30 plants operational worldwide. So how do we get from here to net-zero?
We could — and should — grow more trees. But that won’t be anywhere near enough to avert the climate crisis. We need to look further than nature-based offsets, and perhaps more closely at forests themselves
Abul Mahdi of humanitarian architecture charity Article 25 on the importance of keeping things local
Hydrogen could help many of the world’s most carbon-intensive processes to reach net-zero — just as long as we can decarbonize the production of hydrogen itself