Friday, February 4, 2011

Smart Growth, Driving Less and Cleaner Air

Growing Wealthier -Smart Growth, Climate Change and Prosperity (98 page pdf, Center for Clean Air Policy, Jan. 2011)

Also discussed here: Growing Wealthier (Summary) (4 page pdf, Center for Clean Air Policy, Jan. 2011)

Key Quotes:

“Transportation-related activities account for 71 percent of US oil consumption38 and nearly one-third of annual CO2 emissions in the US. In 2008, 62 percent of this came from passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, minivans and pickup trucks.39 The upshot is that there is no viable way to become less oil-dependent or meet climate-protection targets without addressing transportation”

“Moving a person over a given distance by public transportation consumes, on average, about half the energy of moving a person the same distance by private automobile, [SUV], or light truck.”

“travel by public transportation produces, on average, about 45 percent less carbon dioxide per passenger mile than travel by private vehicles”

“communities following smart-growth strategies either have succeeded in, or have the potential to, reduce their citizens’ driving up to 60 percent”

“Improving neighborhood “walkability” enhances property values.. every one-point increase in a home’s Walk Score raised its value by $700 to $3,000.… Walkability also enhances health. In Seattle, a 5% increase in the overall level of walkability was linked to a 32% increase in minutes of walking or biking and a reduction in Body Mass Index

“Reducing the need to drive saves big money. The Vision California project calculated that a “green” compact growth scenario could save California residents $8,600 in driving related costs per household by the year 2050, or more than $170 billion annually statewide”

“Building within a smaller footprint can enhance sustainability by reducing water use and improving storm water runoff management. A 2006 EPA report found that in a compact single family housing development in Sacramento, California, water demand was 20-30% less than conventional subdivisions in the same city”

“While travel is essential to economic productivity, many of the additional miles we are forced to drive simply because of the layout of our cities and a lack of options might be dubbed “empty miles”
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