Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are the Keys to Sustainability

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Penguin, Sep 17, 2009 - Social Science - 368 pages
21 Reviews
In this remarkable challenge to conventional thinking about the environment, David Owen argues that the greenest community in the United States is not Portland, Oregon, or Snowmass, Colorado, but New York, New York. Most Americans think of crowded cities as ecological nightmares, as wastelands of concrete and garbage and diesel fumes and traffic jams. Yet residents of compact urban centers, Owen shows, individually consume less oil, electricity, and water than other Americans. They live in smaller spaces, discard less trash, and, most important of all, spend far less time in automobiles. Residents of Manhattan- the most densely populated place in North America -rank first in public-transit use and last in percapita greenhouse-gas production, and they consume gasoline at a rate that the country as a whole hasn't matched since the mid-1920s, when the most widely owned car in the United States was the Ford Model T. They are also among the only people in the United States for whom walking is still an important means of daily transportation. These achievements are not accidents. Spreading people thinly across the countryside may make them feel green, but it doesn't reduce the damage they do to the environment. In fact, it increases the damage, while also making the problems they cause harder to see and to address. Owen contends that the environmental problem we face, at the current stage of our assault on the world's nonrenewable resources, is not how to make teeming cities more like the pristine countryside. The problem is how to make other settled places more like Manhattan, whose residents presently come closer than any other Americans to meeting environmental goals that all of us, eventually, will have to come to terms with.
 

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Review: Green Metropolis: What the City Can Teach the Country About True Sustainability

User Review  - Michal Leah - Goodreads

I'm giving this book a low rating not because I didn't agree with the author's points, but because the tone of the book did not sit well with me. The author's main point can be summed up quickly: cars ... Read full review

Review: Green Metropolis: What the City Can Teach the Country About True Sustainability

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

If you're someone who's concerned about human-influenced climate change, or energy efficiency, or even urban planning, you'll definitely want to take a look at this book. It totally surprised me. I've ... Read full review

Contents

1 More Like Manhattan
2 Liquid Civilization
3 There and Back
4 The Great Outdoors
5 Embodied Efficiency
6 The Shape of Things to Come
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About the author (2009)

David Owen plays in a weekly foursome, takes mulligans off tDavid Owen plays in a weekly foursome, takes mulligans off the first tee, practices intermittently at best, wore a coppehe first tee, practices intermittently at best, wore a copper wristband because Steve Ballesteros said so, and strugglesr wristband because Steve Ballesteros said so, and struggles for consistency even though his swing is consistent -- just for consistency even though his swing is consistent -- just mediocre. He is a staff writer for "The New Yorker, " a con mediocre. He is a staff writer for "The New Yorker, " a contributing editor to "Golf Digest, " and a frequent contributtributing editor to "Golf Digest, " and a frequent contributor to "The Atlantic Monthly." His other books include "The For to "The Atlantic Monthly." His other books include "The First National Bank of Dad, The Chosen One, The Making of theirst National Bank of Dad, The Chosen One, The Making of the Masters, " and "My Usual Game." He lives in Washington, Con Masters, " and "My Usual Game." He lives in Washington, Connecticut. necticut.

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