The Surprising Environmental Benefits of Size and Density

A recent article from Richard Florida shows that the size and density of cities offers considerable advantages to the environment, beyond what is commonly understood.
April 23, 2012, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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While several studies have demonstrated that the "size and density of cities confers considerable economic advantages", Florida aims to show that size and density also benefit the environment, in less well understood ways.

"That larger and denser cities and metro areas might be energy efficient makes intuitive sense," Florida states, as is reflected in decreased encroachment on natural habitats and increased energy efficiencies. But, he continues, "the idea that their emissions might actually be lower than smaller cities' seems like a stretch."

However, by parsing CO2 emissions data with colleagues Kevin Stolarick and Jose Lobo of Arizona State University, Florida confirms that as such emissions rise alongside the economic output of metro areas, they do so at a declining rate. "In other words, increasing metropolitan output is associated with decreasing emissions."

"When it comes to being green, bigger really is better."

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Published on Thursday, April 19, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
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