If You're Ignoring Transportation, You're Not Much of a Climate Mayor

Encouraging compact land use by allowing density, building near transit, and eliminating parking minimums can have a powerful effect on the emissions a city generates.
May 13, 2018, 7am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Sean Pavone

Liberal cities around the country have mayors who love to talk about climate change, but while there are proven strategies to curb emissions in cities, many of these same mayors are afraid to upset the status quo. Transportation is the main source of emissions in the United States, so "[m]ayors can play a big role in reducing per capita energy consumption by facilitating more efficient modes of travel and more compact land use," argues Angie Schmitt.

Eliminating parking requirements is one strategy that's been implemented in Mexico City. Parking requirements make building more expensive and serve as built-in support for private vehicles over public transit. While a few U.S. cities have taken steps to reduce some requirements, none has gone as far as the Mexican capital.

Other strategies Schmitt champions in her article include creating space for sustainable transit in the form of bus and bike lanes, allowing housing near transit, and narrowing streets and slowing vehicle traffic to make the public realm safer for walkers and bikers.

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Published on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 in Streetsblog
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