Cape Town fights for energy independence

That year, desperate to find a solution, Cape Town announced plans to purchase its own power from independent renewable-power producers. The falling cost and exponential growth of renewable-energy technology have made this possible. Amazon recently announced it will build its own solar farm to power its data centers in South Africa, thereby insulating itself from outages on […]

How technology helped archaeologists dig deeper

Joseph Jones, an anthropologist at the College of William & Mary and one of the site’s investigators, told me that the science matured even while his team was still excavating. At the start of their dig, they analyzed skeletal remains using the same techniques that archaeologists had used for almost a century, measuring the size […]

Politics and the pandemic have changed how we imagine cities

Humanity has migrated to subaquatic domes to escape the lethal consequences of a vastly deteriorated ozone layer. Tremendous advances in solar power have made this shift possible, and an android underclass provides maintenance labor. Sentient but without rights, they are manufactured with organs that can be harvested by humans. Gradually, Momo grows enlightened to the […]

Fiction: Unpaired

As if on cue, my phone decided I was hungry. It pushed a map of the surrounding neighborhood to the front of the screen. Places I didn’t recognize, or at least hadn’t eaten in for a couple of years, were highlighted with slowly pulsating pale blue dots. Two Chipotles, a gyro truck, some taco place […]

What cities need now

And for cities, especially US cities, competing with other cities for private investment sets off a race to the bottom in which public agencies vie to win new technologies that don’t work well with the technical systems or processes they already have in place. Many experienced the smart cities craze of the 2010s with a […]

How megacities could lead the fight against climate change

By 2035, the world will have 14 more megacities, according to the United Nations. Most of the new ones will develop in Africa and Asia. The concentration of wealth and technology within metropolitan areas means cities everywhere could lead the way in addressing climate change. Methodology The population data for 2020 and 2035 was sourced […]

PayPal’s ambition and uphill battle in China

Over the last few months, PayPal has been quietly gearing up for its expansion in China. At the recent Boao Forum for Asia, China’s answer to Davos, the American payments giant said its strategy for China is not to challenge the duopoly of Alipay and WeChat Pay. Instead, it wants to focus on cross-border business […]