23 December 2008

Can Cities Save the Planet

...the per-capita carbon dioxide emissions of American cities are almost twice as high as those of their European counterparts. ... European cities are denser and more compact, homes are smaller, and people rely to a far greater extent on mass transit.

...technologies have always had unintended consequences. Streetcars, for example, which replaced horse-drawn omnibuses and were not only faster but considerably cleaner, also encouraged suburban growth, enabled commercial strips to develop along rights of way, and created amusement parks (Coney Island in New York, Natatorium Park in Spokane, Wash.) as end-of-line destinations.

...Americans' rapid change in driving habits during the gas-price run-up of summer 2008 suggests that people can quickly alter the ways they behave: driving less, walking more, turning down the thermostat, turning off the lights. Yes, we should eventually change the way we build and plan cities, but it might be more effective in the short run to change the way we live in them...

By Witold Rybczynski

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hey--just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you and your family. Hope Santa brings you all your hearts' desire...and world peace:>)