A worker washes the exterior of a Portland Loo in Portland, Ore. San Diego installed two of the loos earlier this year. Rick Bowmer/AP hide caption

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The H Street Wal-Mart in Washington, D.C. Ten years ago, none of the city's 600,000 residents lived within 1 mile of a Wal-Mart. Today, almost 13 percent do. Emily Jan/NPR hide caption

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The Los Angeles River in 2013. Engineers turned it into a narrow concrete channel in the 1940s, after a flood destroyed homes and left 100 people dead in 1938. Steve Lyon/Flickr hide caption

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Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh is spearheading an effort to revitalize downtown Las Vegas and make it a tech hub, home for small businesses and a creative community. Isaac Brekken for NPR hide caption

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A view of Seattle from the Bullitt Center. Brad Kahn/Flickr hide caption

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Is Civilization Natural?

Commentator Adam Frank says if we're building cities that affect the entire planet, maybe it's time to start thinking about how nature and cities can evolve together.

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Kevin Faulconer reaches for his wife, Katherine, at a Feb. 11 rally as their daughter looks up from below. Faulconer, a Republican, won the San Diego mayoral race last week. Lenny Ignelzi/AP hide caption

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Sadia Bies and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino stand next to her portrait of him at a July press conference. Menino, the city's longest-serving mayor, is stepping down at the end of his term. Aynsley Floyd/Invision for Gillette hide caption

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Political theorist and author Benjamin R. Barber (left) spoke at the CityLab summit this week in New York. He is proposing the formation of a "World Parliament of Mayors." Courtesy of The Atlantic hide caption

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World War Z is just the latest pop-culture incarnation of the Zombie Apocalypse. Adam Frank says the zombies keep coming because they're trying to tell us something. MPC/Paramount Pictures hide caption

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Information, like light, flows through cities in interesting, often beautiful, patterns. Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Adam Frank stands atop of the Wilder Building in Rochester, N.Y. Carlet Cleare /WXXI hide caption

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