Cities are Gas Guzzlers, Too

Like the major automakers, cities have been warned for years that they need to rein in sprawl and become more energy-efficient; and having neglected these warnings must now restructure how they operate, says Jack Diamond of the Globe and Mail.
December 2, 2008, 2pm PST | Michael Dudley
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"As difficult as it is for General Motors to restructure its business, with so-called legacy issues embedded in the way it does business (gas guzzlers, too many dealerships, union contracts and so on), so it is difficult to restructure the shape of our cities. But it is not impossible, and like GM, we have no option. The sooner we acknowledge the problem, the better our prospects for a sustainable future.

There are ways to begin the necessary transformation. First, higher densities should be zoned within walking distance of existing public-transit stops. Second...No expensive rail bed is required for bus service. Buses can serve local routes or longer-haul, express routes. They can have a number of stops in one neighbourhood, then go directly to a more remote destination.

These are just two of the steps available to begin the process of rendering our cities economically and environmentally sustainable. Once these are begun, there are a host of others to accelerate the change."

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Published on Thursday, November 27, 2008 in The Globe and Mail
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