Study Links Sprawl of Climate Change

The number of miles Americans drive has grown three times faster than the population since 1980.

Published: 27-Sep-2007

Suburban sprawl is an often-overlooked cause of climate change, a group of urban planning researchers said yesterday, warning in a report that global warming can be slowed only by changing development patterns to reduce the need for Americans to get behind the wheel.

Living in more compact, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods actually would do more to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide - the chief climate-changing gas - than driving a hybrid car while staying in a typically spread-out suburb, the report asserts.

"The research shows that one of the best ways to reduce vehicle travel is to build places where people can accomplish more with less driving," said Reid Ewing, the report's lead author and a research professor at the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland.



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