Urbanites Have Smaller Carbon Footprints

May 30, 2008 06:01 AM
by Liz Colville
A new report from the Brookings Institution suggests that the impact of ‘Metropolitan America’ on the environment is less than that of its rural counterpart.

30-Second Summary

The report, part of a Brookings Institution-sponsored project called Blueprint for American Prosperity, focuses on America’s “expanding” carbon footprint and the impact of metropolitan dwellers.

The authors concluded that “metro area residents have smaller carbon footprints than the average American,” noting that public transportation and residential density are important contributing factors, as are electricity and weather.

The report encourages the participation of the federal government to help metropolitan areas research climate change, promote public transportation, improve housing efficiency, and more.

Profiling 100 metropolitan areas in the U.S. and calculating the carbon footprints of hundreds of cities and towns based on residential energy use and transportation, the study found the largest carbon footprints to be in the Midwest, South, and Mid-Atlantic areas of the country.

Other recent reports have analyzed carbon footprint variety around the globe and proposed changes that include building more sustainable cities and allowing progress in impoverished countries without drastically increasing those countries’ footprints.

Headline Links: ‘Shrinking the Carbon Footprint of Metropolitan America’

Background: Urban vs. rural lifestyles

Planning for urban sustainability

Reference: Carbon footprints of U.S. cities and towns

Related Topics: Comparing nations’ carbon footprints; mass transit use increasing


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