Sustainability and density: Better climate with closer quarters

WorldChanging’s Alex Steffen talks about how to make a better world by denser living. If you live closer together, you can go places on foot. You don’t need a car.

The best car-related innovation we have is not to improve the car, but eliminate the need to drive it everywhere we go.

Lots of interesting stuff in that post, including notations of subsidies and hidden costs– both in car manufacturing (tailpipe emission is but one part of the energy expenditure per car; lots of energy goes into manufacturing) and in one-driver-per-car road use.

Most roads in the U.S. don’t pay their way: drivers are subsidized to a much larger tune than public transit riders (especially when externalized costs are counted). But it doesn’t have to be that way.Road tolls, parking taxes and congestion pricing can serve a double purpose — disincentivizing driving while generating enough funds to pay for new, comfortable and effective transit services.