Grand Central Station, NYC
Photograph by Ira Block
New York's Grand Central Station overflows with a sea of commuters and travelers at rush hour. Every day, 1.3 million commuters travel into Manhattan to work for the day and then return to their homes at night.
Bangkok Traffic Jam
Photograph by Jodi Cobb
A traffic jam clogs the crowded streets of Bangkok, Thailand. Urban populations around the world have boomed as economies have developed. In 1800, about 3 percent of the world’s population lived in cities; in 2000, about 47 percent lived in cities.
Chinese Road Traffic
Photograph by Sarah Leen
Cars flood the 2nd Ring Road in Beijing. The 1,763-square-mile (4,567-square-kilometer) city has been an important political and cultural headquarters for more than 2,000 years.
Taxis in New York City
Photograph by Michael K. Nichols
Taxis crowd New York City streets. Today there are about 12,000 taxis in New York, many of which drive more than 100,000 miles (161,000 km) around the city’s five boroughs every year.
Photograph by Richard Kolker/Getty Images
A rat emerges from a New York City sewer at night. Rats are common in urban areas because they live in man-made habitats and eat human food.
Los Angeles Smog
Photograph by Mike Abrahams/Alamy
Hazy golden light illuminates the Los Angeles skyline, which appears to float on a bed of smog. The city is notorious for its pervasive air pollution, caused mainly by car exhaust trapped in the San Fernando Valley basin.
The Great Energy Challenge
An initiative to help you understand our current energy situation.
See how you measure up against others, and how changes at home could do tons to protect the planet.
Special Ad Section
The World's Water
NG's new Change the Course campaign launches. When individuals pledge to use less water in their own lives, our partners carry out restoration work in the Colorado River Basin.
A special series on how grabbing water from poor people and future generations threatens global food security, environmental sustainability, and local cultures.