If cities were denser, would that be better for the world? Would that mean that there would be less cars? What would this do for us? What would that do for the planet?
This is a very smart thought that people have been having recently, specifically Patrick Sisson of Curbed. Here’s what he’s thinking.
In the face of this existential threat, cities also present the best places to curb emissions: Though urban areas generate 70 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide, that also makes them a good place to start making a difference. Toward a Healthier World, a report by the C40 network, argues that with a strict series of policy changes—including bolstering cycling, walking, and public transit; enacting more energy-efficient building codes and retrofitting old structures; and a rapid investment in renewable power—cities could achieve an 87 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Research suggests that simply increasing density could be a place to start—and get cities much of the way toward their carbon emission-reduction goals. A 2014 London School of Economics study determined that large global cities, with a “modest blend of pro-density housing and transit policies,” could cut their emissions by a third by 2030. Urbanist Peter Calthorpe calculated that through urban densification alone, the United States could achieve half the carbon reductions needed to hold global temperatures to a rise of 2 degrees Celsius (4 degrees Fahrenheit).
This is fantastic news! I love this story. While being in the country, having your own space, seems lovely, this simply is a dream of the past. This is not sustainable anymore.
So? Why not get denser? It would help us all – and might mean less Hondas out there.