Uninventing suburbia

February 11, 2008 | By | 1 Reply More

This article by Alex Williams covers a lot of territory, including:

The environmental costs of suburban life, which evolved around the highway system, cheap oil, and the automobile and now typically consumes several times more energy per person (and thus fossil fuels) than urban living. There’s all that driving. There are the chugging mowers and fertilizers and pesticides used to keep all those lawns lovely. Lighting, heating and cooling those ballooning homes consumes vast amounts of energy compared to a city apartment — or a house half a century ago. ncluding the environmental costs of suburbia.

See, also, the trailer of “The End of Suburbia,” here.   And here’s a good read:  My other car is a bright green city. 


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Category: Environment, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    Then there is the cost of parking. Parking lots increase the distance one must travel between destinations (including the width of houses and therefore lots), create flooding problems by waterproofing previously absorbent land, create heat islands in summer and wind plains in winter, and allow ubiquitous toxic fluid leaks to drain directly into watersheds. Most parking is "free", meaning that both the direct and indirect costs are well hidden.

    Here is an excellent article Land of the Free Parking that discusses the costs of parking, and some of what might be done to reduce the impact.

    My favorite suggestion was for companies to offer employees a choice of a parking space, or the equivalent value in real estate and maintenance costs in cash (about $2,500/year per spot).

    The biggest problem with this is zoning requirements. As with clotheslines, most zoning requirements give builders and occupants no choice about how much parking must be provided. I was always annoyed/amused by the 2 handicapped parking places that one of my clients, a roofing company, was required to provide for all those wheelchair-bound roofing workers that might come to the shop.

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