Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Low Carbon Urbanism Campaign

Low Carbon Neighborhoods, High-Quality Living is an initiative from the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) that emphasizes how neighborhoods are one of the best remedies for combating climate change.

Although conversations about reducing greenhouse gases often turn to hybrid cars and other technical fixes, neighborhoods play a huge and underappreciated role in determining our impact on our planet's climate. Neighborhoods either make walking, biking, and transit-use convenient options -- they either bring destinations like stores, schools, and offices nearby -- or they make it so that we need trips in cars and trucks, often long trips, for all of our daily needs.

Because the U.S. has built mostly sprawling neighborhoods in recent decades, the amount people drive has soared -- from 4,000 miles per person per year in 1970 to more than 8,100 today. This leaves U.S. residents profoundly vulnerable to high oil prices and turns them into leading contributors to climate change.

Fortunately, the traditional mixed-use neighborhoods favored by members of the New Urbanism and Smart Growth movements are a convenient, low-carbon alternative. These tight-knit, walkable neighborhoods not only excel in their livability and ability to retain value, they make it easy for people to get around with far less driving.

The coming need for new housing -- more than 50 million new units by 2030 -- creates a major opportunity to address climate change through development that serves the growing demand for livable, sustainable urbanism.

Read more at the resource link below.

Resource: http://www.cnu.org/climate

Learn more about the urban remedy with an introductory movie and slideshow and the 2030 Communities Campaign presentation by Doug Farr.
Contact your elected representatives and urge them to keep urban principles at the forefront of climate legislation. See previous sample letters here and e-mail climate@cnu.org to stay informed on climate campaign developments.
Use the Charter of the New Urbanism and the Canons of Sustainable Architecture and Urbanism in your everyday work.