TOD is Greener Than Green

It's official, says the EPA: Living in a TOD reduces greenhouse gas emissions more than living in a green, single family home and driving a Prius. The study places major emphasis on local land use decisions in an effort to fight climate change.

1 minute read

March 18, 2011, 2:00 PM PDT

By Irvin Dawid


In the study, Location Efficiency and Housing Type – Boiling it Down to BTUs (PDF), EPA evaluated the emissions that stem from living in various types of developments and types of vehicles driven and concluded that the key factor was location in reducing one's emissions, rather than the green aspects of one's dwelling and vehicle.

"No factor has a bigger impact than going from conventional suburban to transit-oriented design. Making that change alone results in a 50 percent reduction in energy use in multifamily buildings and 42 percent and 39 percent reductions in single family attached and detached dwellings. In fact, the most inefficient TOD beats the most efficient Conventional suburban development (CSD) in this study."

From Streetsblog DC: "The report serves as a high-level rebuke to those who dismiss the importance of smart growth for curbing energy use, a point of view that was reinforced by a recent report from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change."

From Grist: Wanna green your ride? Ditch the Prius, hop on a train: "A new EPA study says that moving from a car-oriented to a transit-oriented community has the biggest impact on your energy usage -- more than green buildings or green cars."

Thanks to California League of Conservation Voters

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