NASA’s Earth Observatory describes the advantages and difficulties of observing the world’s cities at night.
Elizabeth Kolbert’s writes about American lawns in The New Yorker article Turf War:
Americans spend an estimated forty billion dollars each year on grass—and to the academic discipline of turf management, degrees in which can now be obtained from, among other schools, the University of Massachusetts and Ohio State. The lawn has become so much a part of the suburban landscape that it is difficult to see it as something that had to be invented. … the American lawn now represents a serious civic problem. That the space devoted to it continues to grow—and that more and more water and chemicals and fertilizer are devoted to its upkeep—doesn’t prove that we care so much as that we are careless.