Guardian Demands Higher Density Cities to Combat Climate Change

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to The Guardian, packing people into cities like sardines will help save the world from climate change. But even progressives are hesitating to support this latest climate initiative.

Denser cities could be a climate boon – but nimbyism stands in the way

Drawing people into cities could cut emissions and combat housing crises. But even progressives are hard to convince

In San Francisco’s Sunset District, rows and rows of pastel-colored, two-storey homes flow from the edge of Golden Gate park into the sand dunes of Ocean Beach. Many houses here have solar panels on their roofs and compost bins at their driveways, flanked by hybrid and electric cars.

Yet here – and all over this city – one major solution to both the housing crisis and the climate crisis has been met with fierce resistance: building more.

Climate scientists and urban planners increasingly suggest that one of the most impactful ways to slash greenhouse gas emissions is to make cities denser. This change, scientists have calculated, is even more impactful than installing solar panels on all new constructions or retrofitting old buildings with energy-saving technologies. Residents of cities like San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Minneapolis already have much lower carbon footprints than in the surrounding suburban sprawl. City dwellers tend to have smaller apartments that require less energy to heat and cool.

But it also means a certain American way of life may have to end.

At a national level, Joe Biden has called for a “historic investment” in affordable housing, with his administration urging cities to change zoning laws to boost density and limit single-family housing developments, as well as rip up highways that have cleaved apart communities, typically communities of color, and added to air pollution.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/22/cities-climate-change-dense-sprawl-yimby-nimby

Is it just me, or does anyone else think some climate activists act like they hate the idea of any personal contact with nature? At least with suburbs, houses with backyards, there is room for kids to play on grass lawns, maybe plant a few fruit trees between the houses, to share the space with the local wildlife. High density housing not so much.

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August 23, 2021 at 04:50PM

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