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Global Warming: How Does Your City Rate?

Here’s a sweet little bit of vindication for a city boy surrounded by farmers and back-to-the-landers:

At first glance, cities may appear to be a big source of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. But new research by CNT, which compares greenhouse gas emissions of city and suburban households, yields some surprising results.

CNT looked at emissions of carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas, stemming from household vehicle travel in 55 metropolitan areas across the U.S. When measured on a per household basis, it found that the transportation-related emissions of people living in cities and compact neighborhoods can be nearly 70% less than those living in suburbs. See how this compares in your region at our newly redesigned Housing + Transportation Affordability Index site.

[Emphasis mine.]

So, nyeh.

The real interesting bit, though, is the tools Center for Neighborhood Technology provides for checking out your area’s CO2 emissions relative to population (“CO2 per acre” vs. “CO2 per household”).

What is Location Efficiency?

While the concept of energy efficiency is a familiar term, locations can be efficient too. Compact neighborhoods with walkable streets, access to transit, and a wide variety of stores and services have high location efficiency. They require less time, money, and greenhouse gas emissions for residents to meet their everyday travel requirements.

The savings add up for households and communities. Transportation costs can range from 15% of household income in location efficient neighborhoods to over 28% in inefficient locations. Greenhouse gas emissions fluctuate too, depending on household reliance on costly, carbon-intensive automobile travel.

As they add more and more cities in the coming months, more people will be able to view the carbon impact of their own homesteads, as well as the impact of gas prices.


Ask the Experts: Submit Your Permaculture Questions Now

Attention all growers, food-lovers, and green-living enthusiasts, we are once again celebrating Permaculture Month by putting our pioneering permaculture authors to work for you. Chelsea Green is proud to publish and distribute some of the most recognized, and award-winning, names in permaculture, and we’re making several of them available to our readers to answer any and […] Read More

Recipe: Pascal Baudar’s Basic Wild Kimchi

Experiment with what you have, anything from the mustard family will work extremely well. Read More

Author Elizabeth Marshall Thomas: Dreaming of Lions

Reading through your life story, it’s clear that you were amazingly open to new experiences, approaching them like an observer who arrived with few previously held ideas. Do you think that it takes that kind of openness to see and understand animals and people in new ways, as you’ve done throughout your career? I do, […] Read More

Author Petra Kuenkel: The Art of Leading Collectively

More than ever before, there is a focus on new, collective forms of leadership—and an urgency to get collective change processes underway, all over the world. What’s behind the recent push to move collective leadership to the fore? Whether we find ourselves in societal or organizational change, it requires collective energy and drive to bring […] Read More

10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More
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