Average Australian Ecological footprint
Over at New Geography, Joel Kotkin has a new against high-density inner city life. It's called "Forced March to the Cities, " presumably to feed the right-wing talking-point that urbanism and planning are totalitarian. Here's the part that's supposed to scare you:
One influential document called "Moving Cooler", cooked up by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Urban Land Institute, the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Protection Agency and others, lays out a strategy that would essentially force the vast majority of new development into dense city cores.
Over the next 40 years this could result in something like 60 million to 80 million people being crammed into existing central cities. These policies work hard to make suburban life as miserable as possible by shifting infrastructure spending to dense areas. One proposal, "Moving Cooler, " outdoes even Lowenthal by calling for charges of upwards of $400 for people to park in front of their own houses.
The ostensible justification for this policy lies in the dynamics of slowing climate change. Forcing people to live in dense cities, the reasoning goes, would make people give up all those free parking opportunities and and even their private vehicles, which would reduce their dreaded "carbon imprint."
He goes on to argue that urban development's footprint is actually higher.
Yet there are a few little problems with this "cramming" policy. Its environmental implications are far from assured. According to some recent studies in Australia, the carbon footprint of high-rise urban residents is higher than that of medium- and low-density suburban homes, due to such things as the cost of heating common areas, including parking garages, and the highly consumptive lifestyles of more affluent urbanites.
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