"Well-designed, walkable, mixed-use, transit-oriented development is more important than all the hybrid taxis and green roofs the city could require.
The urban fabric is a key weapon against climate change. Cities allow us to walk, ride a bike, and take transit. "Growing Cooler,'' a study by SmartGrowth America and the Urban Land Institute, showed that compact development - basically, being able to live, work, and shop within a 20-minute radius - can reduce vehicle miles traveled by as much as 30 percent. There is still much empirical analysis to be done on the relationship between the built environment and greenhouse gas emissions, but walking to the corner store for a gallon of milk is one of the greenest contributions any of us can make."