Photo by Matt; Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

What the Controlled Chaos of Burning Man Reveals About Cities: “In a moment when the powers at be can’t even fund the country’s shambling roads and bridges, the 2,000 organizers and volunteers who run Burning Man put together—and then take apart—a 70,000-person city in the space of two months. (That figure does not include emergency workers, government personnel, vendors, or contractors.)”

Cure Yourself of Tree Blindness: “When you engage with a tree, you momentarily leave the human-created world. Look at an American elm in winter, its limbs waving like Medusa’s snaky hair. The elm may grow along streets and sidewalks, but there is nothing tame about that tree. In cities, where animals feast on human gardens or garbage and most landscape plants are domesticated cultivars, native trees are the last truly wild beings.”

Urban butterflies under threat of extinction: According to an EPFL study, butterflies living in urban areas face the threat of consanguinity and potential extinction. The research drew on the fields of genetics and urban development to quantify the trend across an entire city. “Our research illustrates what is probably a widespread phenomenon: a drastic reduction in biodiversity in urban areas. We were able to quantify this trend and show that it’s a problem that needs to be taken seriously.”

The Crenshaw Line Is Taking Shape, and Suddenly 2019 Can’t Get Here Fast Enough: “Maybe the best tease is a new video rendering of the LAX people mover from Los Angeles World Airports. The PM—arriving every two minutes and free to the public—will connect travelers from the Crenshaw Line’s 96th Street station to the airport’s terminals, a centralized rental car facility, and an intermodal transportation facility, which will make it easy to drop fliers off. LAWA estimates the people mover will slice car traffic at the airport by 27 percent.”

Houston’s flooding shows what happens when you ignore science and let developers run rampant: “In recent days, the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey has raised water levels in some parts of the watershed high enough to completely cover a Cadillac. The vanished wetlands wouldn’t have prevented flooding, but they would have made it less painful, experts say.”

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