Monday, July 14, 2014

Smart Growth doesn't work

San Rafael suburb

...Contrary to University of Minnesota planning professor Richard Bolan, the best way to reduce externalities such as pollution and greenhouse gases is to treat the source, not try to change people’s lifestyles. For example, since 1970, pollution controls reduced total air pollution from cars by more than 80 percent, while efforts to entice people out of their cars and onto transit reduced pollution by 0 percent.

Contrary to Matt Lewis, suburbs are not sterile, boring places. Suburbanites have a strong sense of community and are actually more likely to engage in community affairs than city dwellers.

Smart growth doesn’t even work. It doesn’t reduce driving: After taking self-selection into account, its effects on driving are “too small to be useful.” It doesn’t save money or energy: multifamily housing not only costs more, it uses more energy per square foot than single-family housing, while transit costs more and uses as much or more energy per passenger mile as driving. When planners say smart growth saves energy, what they mean is you’ll live in a smaller house and have less mobility...

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At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Gregski said...

It's good to see a reminder of how successful the cleanup of auto emissions has been. When the Ford Focus became the first internal combustion car to be certified as PZEV by the CARB its engine could actually serve as an air purifier when driven through Riverside in July.

As the auto fleet becomes cleaner and cleaner under existing regulations it will be wise to focus future cleanup efforts on higher-contributing sources of pollution, electric power plants specifically.

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Smart growth doesn’t even work. It doesn’t reduce driving"

strange last time i checked car ownership was 20% in manhattan and 90%+ outside manhattan

At 6:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suburbs have have recently gotten the bad rap that cities once got. Growing up we had the "City Mouse Country Mouse" kids book. The so-called research and literature had taken an about face starting with the non-academic Jane Jacobs. While growing up the City I never thought of it as a "city" because at that time we had tons of kids in the neighborhood. We (if you can believe it) never locked our doors...until the late 60s. Things changed in SF, and while I do not want to get nostalgic I regret things have gotten lots worse in the SF....not better over the last 40 years.

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" more energy per passenger mile as driving"

energy per passenger mile is important in SF as many trips are hundreds of miles long.

At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, outer Mission to downtown, that's what, 300 miles? No way is Muni the cheapest way to get there.


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