New York Vs. Los Angeles.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on February 18, 2007

New York has a smaller carbon footprint than LA. Now I can’t prove that but I betcha it is true. True not only overall but per capita. Why? The subway system. And the hybrid bus system. And the commuter train system.

Being a daft American, I hadn’t really made the connection between sustainability and cities until I went to three of the dozen or so sessions on urbanism at the World Economic Forum in January. There was a string of sessions on sustainability and another string of sessions on the Urban Age. Yes, I know that architects, from Corbu to Koolhaas, have been writing about the wonder of making cities dense (or verticle—skyscrapers take up verticle, not horizontal, space) to make lots of room for parks and wilderness (OK, architects are not much into wilderness and prefer parks but it’s the same idea).

But sustainability—living, growing, creating culture with fewer resources—is a different kind of connection to make. If you build the right kind of cities, you can cut down on energy and commodity usage tremendously. And you can shape the environments for greater innovation and creativity. And you can restore the rest of the land to natural places where we can rest, play and connect to something bigger than ourselves.

Reader Comments

william w griffin

February 27, 2007 2:59 AM

What is the name of the US firm to whom this article refers ? thanks in advance for your response.. Bill Griffin


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Ross Grant

December 8, 2007 7:55 AM

NYC uses alot of heating oil whereas LA doesn't. NYC metro area actually has nore freeways than LA

Kyle Kim

March 24, 2009 11:52 PM

Though NYC makes better use of public transportation, it also has a larger population, metro zone, less moderate climate (higher demand for heating and oil), and more road access routes than Los Angeles. I personally though, would take the higher pollution, noise, and general living costs of New York over L.A. any time or day of the year...

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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