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Air Quality Rules May Hinder Densification

New air quality guidelines aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of new housing developments may turn out to hinder the approval of dense projects in California.

"That would run counter to the notion that builders should be given incentives to shift future population growth from the car-dependent outer suburbs to places where public services are already available and public transit is a more viable option to get people out of their cars.

The proposed guidelines were drafted by the staff at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The district has long been the region's smog-fighting regulatory agency, but it is now proposing for the first time to limit the heat-trapping gases believed to contribute to global warming."

Full Story: Air Quality Guidelines Face Unexpected Critics

Comments

Comments

Growth is growth.

Growth results in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, and growth is growth whether it is in dense development or not. Most urban planners have long ago forgotten that and to them density has become a goal in itself.

Todd Litman's picture
Staff

Dense Growth Produces Far Lower Emissions Per Capita

Smart growth (dense, mixed, connected, multi-modal, etc) reduces emissions per capita. Per capita is the correct way to measure such impacts, unless you want to elimiminate a portion of the total human population. It is inappropriate to use site- or jurisdiction-level analysis of such emissions, such analysis can result in misguided policies that reduce emissions in a particular location but increase total emissions.

Todd Alexander Litman
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
www.vtpi.org
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