In Sprawling Charlotte, Traffic Jams Point to Climate Solutions

A look at the relationship between sprawl and climate change mitigation in the fast-growing North Carolina city.

1 minute read

June 22, 2018, 11:00 AM PDT

By sarahwesseler


Downtown Freeway

Sharkshock / Shutterstock

For Shannon Binns, founder of a local nonprofit focused on sustainability, fighting climate change means not talking about climate change.

In a part of the country where global warming is highly politicized, Binns believes it can be counterproductive to foreground climate concerns in advocacy campaigns. His work focuses largely on curbing sprawl, which has massive implications for carbon emissions, although it's not usually at the top of urban mitigation priorities.

"It’s so easy to turn people off and create opponents,” he said. “We’ve taken the approach of, ‘Let’s talk about things that we know are less controversial’ – which is not being stuck in traffic.”

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