Tuesday, October 30

Three (Loosely) Related Finds

1. Cities are good for the earth.

I caught an Earth and Sky broadcast on NPR last night on why the unprecedented level of global urbanization is ultimately a benefit to the planet. George Martine of the U.N. population report was quoted,

"And we have a world population that is almost 6.7 billion people. If you put say 3.3 billion people out of urban areas and into rural areas, what would happen to natural ecosystems? It would be disastrous. There’s no question about it. The fact that cities concentrate most environmental problems is not because of concentration, per se. It is simply due to the fact that cities concentrate the lifestyles and the production and the consumption patterns of modern civilization such as we know it. So the problem is not concentration. The problem is the kind of civilization that we are promoting and the kind of concentration of wealthy and affluent consumers in cities."

2. Some cities don't move as much as others.

Forbes used television viewing habits, exercise frequency, and obesity percentages to present a list of the most sedentary cities in the United States. I love lists, the more statistics the better.

Carol Coletta, of CEOs for cities, thought about what could be behind the inactivity of Memphis (ranked #1),

"The economically bifurcated population, lack of transit options, unwalkable neighborhoods and favored Southern cuisine are a 'deadly formula' for the city"

3. Transit-Oriented Development works.

A study of TODs in Washington D.C., Portland, Philadelphia/Newark, and San Fransisco reveal that the residents make about 50% fewer car trips.

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