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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sprawl and Climate Change

Here's a fix for fellow land-use junkies.  Kaid Benfield (of NRDC) has an interesting post up on the links between land use policy and carbon emissions. A taste:

  • Smart growth and smart transportation choices can reduce the amount Americans need to drive - as measured in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) - by 10 percent per capita from 2005 levels. 
  • A 10 percent reduction in per capita VMT would reduce annual transportation emissions by 145 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (MMTCO2) in the year 2030, equivalent to the annual emissions of about 30 million cars or 35 large coal plants.
  • These reductions would equal approximately 6 percent of the 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal proposed in the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

There's no question that part of the solution to climate change will be a shift in our land use laws to encourage more mixed use and walkable development.  This is not about forcing people to abandon the suburbs, but about giving people and developers the option to produce the sorts of built environments in which it's possible not to have to get in the car several times a day to get anything done.  In other words, it's about creating choices, not eliminating them. (HT Kevin Drum)

Posted by Eduardo Penalver on June 23, 2009 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

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