Life And The Nature of Cities
Cities Are Good For Nature Want to help the environment? Move to a big city. Contrary to popular belief, cities may be the most effective tool we have for helping the environment. A study out of Yale University reported that “New Yorkers have the smallest carbon footprints in the United States: 7.1 metric tons of greenhouse gases per person per year, or less than 30 percent of the national average. Manhattanites generate even less.” How could this be? Networks. As network grow the opportunities for resource cycling increases. Using a resource twice is the same as having twice as many resources.
Though, it may cost more the build city infrastructure frequent use means that it requires far less energy per person. This sounds counterintuitive but the larger a city is the less per capita resources it requires. An interesting discovery by physics Geoffrey West shows that animals and cities scale this way (watch Geoffrey’s TEDtalk here). Good new considering the planet is rapidly urbanizing (180 000 people move into cities each day). As of 2010, more than 50% of the people on the planet live in cities. In many developed nations, the percentage is already above 80%.
What’s clear is that [Read more…]