Suburbia Fueling Our Addiction to Oil

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In a society where we must drive for miles to work,  school, shopping, and recreation, our dependence on oil and our creation of greenhouse gas emissions is a real problem.  Cities and mixed-use developments reduce their carbon footprint by providing everything one needs within walking or biking distance and via public transportation.  There’s room for improvement in many towns across the United States.

Just a few years ago, a new light rail system has made the right connections for Denver, Colorado residents and ridership is up.   According to an article at The Mercury News, “More than 60 percent of New Yorkers commute by taking public transit, walking or biking. More than 40 percent of residents of San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Boston do the same. In Boston, 13 percent of commuters daily reap the benefits of the world’s oldest form of exercise: walking.”

“Analysts at Shell and the chief executive of BMW predict that global oil supply will not keep up with demand beginning in two to 17 years, causing gas prices to reach unknown levels.”  So higher density neighborhoods and mixed use developments will provide some relief.  Mixed used is a term to describe developments where homes, business, schools, and parks are confined within a small area to minimize the need for driving.

The U.S. Green Building Council will soon roll out its Neighborhood Development pilot program that will guide the building of new communities that are more easily accessible for residents.  It will certify such developments under its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) rating system. 

Tag(s): Going Green, Greenhouse Gas Emissions / Global Warming

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