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Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for November 3rd, 2015

Two tweets by Jeff Speck

with 2 comments

The constraints of the 140 character limit meant that this observation by Jeff Speck got spread over two tweets. But instead of retweeting I decided to make it a blog post.

“When we built our new house in Washington, we too did our best to clear the shelves of the sustainability store.

Yet, all of our green gadgets cumulatively contribute only a fraction of what we save by living in a walkable neighborhood.”

This is pretty much what was established by the BC Energy Aware Committee many years ago – and BC Ministry of Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources Energy Efficiency Branch even earlier. Yes, you can save energy by buying better windows, and putting more insulation in the roof. But simply giving up one of those cars and walking to more of your destinations will save far more. Our built environment is based on the idea of energy that is “too cheap to  meter” and that was a chimera. We are still stuck with that – not just as a desirable form but one that many of us will be forced to live in for a long time. And much of the battles that get fought over issues like transit funding or bike lanes stem from our attachment to the image of the place we thought that we had been promised.

And here are two more (November 4)

“Trading all your incandescent bulbs for energy-savers conserves as much carbon per year as living in a walkable neighborhood does per week.”

“The most green home (with Prius) in sprawl still spews more carbon than the least green home in a walkable neighborhood. (EPA)”

Written by Stephen Rees

November 3, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Posted in energy, Environment