More Evidence that City Living is the Greenest

Ever since David Owen's book Green Metropolis pushed forward the idea that cities are better for the planet, people have been debating if it's really so. New evidence says yes.
February 7, 2011, 2pm PST | Tim Halbur
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The study, from the journal Environment and Urbanization, says that the carbon emissions of cities vary widely.


"...some important trends emerge: low- and middle-income countries tend to have lower per capita emissions than high-income countries; dense cities tend to have relatively lower per capita emissions (particularly those with good transportation systems); cities tend to have higher emissions if in a cold climate zone. The most important observation is that there is no single factor that can explain variations in per capita emissions across cities; they are agglomerations of a variety of physical, economic and social factors specific to their unique urban life."

Jess Zimmerman at Grist sums it up:

"...while cities have the highest emissions per square mile, suburbs have far and away the highest emissions per person. Yeah, a single acre in New York is going to pollute more than an acre of strip mall in Scottsdale, but that's because everyone's stacked like Ikea cabinets. On a per-person basis, cities rule and strip malls drool."

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Published on Friday, February 4, 2011 in Grist
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