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View Poll Results: Which causes more pollution per capita, a dense urban center, or a sprawling suburb?
a dense urban center 23 38.33%
a sprawling suburb 37 61.67%
Voters: 60. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 09-27-2008, 09:58 PM
 
Location: hopefully NYC one day :D
411 posts, read 681,969 times
Reputation: 168
Unhappy Which causes more pollution per capita, a dense urban center, or a sprawling suburb?

I asked which causes more pollution, a dense urban center, or a sprawling suburb on Yahoo! Answers. I was surprised as to how many people said urban centers! Why do they think that? Aren't dense urban centers a lot better for the environment (Yes, I've come a long way since my suburb-loving days)?!?!?! In an urban area, you don't have to drive everywhere like you do in the suburbs. You can walk, ride a bike, take a bus, taxi, train, subway, etc.! Some one said that the buses, taxis, trains, etc. increase pollution. But because of the buses, taxis, trains, etc., aren't there less cars per capita? Also, because urban centers are dense, less land is used. Suburbs use WAY more land and you have to drive everywhere. That also causes traffic. Plus, doesn't it take less energy to heat an urban apartment unit that it does a suburban house?
I'm worried that it turns out dense urban centers are worse for the environment than suburbs!
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:59 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,112 posts, read 20,414,736 times
Reputation: 4643
In Atlanta, the answer would be sprawling suburbs, or more specifically, the number of them.

Atlanta's city population is just hovering around 450,000 (est). When you include the metro area, it's just over 5 million. Many of those people work intown during the day, and leave at 5pm. Or they cut through the city as they travel from the suburb where they live to the suburb on the opposite side of the metro area where they work (they're famous for doing that here). All those cars going all those miles spit out tons of smog. We've even had more "smog alert" days than L.A. in some summer months.

Having sprawling suburbs that extend in all directions isn't good for air quality, period.

Of course, in the last week, Atlanta is one of the cities that doesn't even HAVE gas, so the air is getting visibly cleaner and a lot of folks stay at home to conserve it since 9 out of 10 gas stations don't even have gas at all lately.
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:20 PM
 
8,869 posts, read 12,523,288 times
Reputation: 6732
why is this even a question?!?!??!?

per capita? umm.....


hasn't this been obvious since the very first suburb was built?
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:23 PM
 
11,206 posts, read 16,548,845 times
Reputation: 5021
Density = more people walking/biking/using mass transit

Sprawling suburbs = more people driving, often one to a vehicle, subdivisions built almost intentionally to require driving

It's not rocket science. Open space can be nice, but it has its tradeoffs.
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:19 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
263 posts, read 540,556 times
Reputation: 103
suburb, no question.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:59 AM
 
769 posts, read 1,398,565 times
Reputation: 384
Yep. The suburbs use more energy.
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Western Chicagoland
18,533 posts, read 48,430,329 times
Reputation: 7278
Id say theyre about equal. Dense urban centers usually have more people, therefore more energy used. Suburbs may have more cars, but also lack the amount of trains, buses, abundant taxis, etc. Also, in dense urban centers, some cities never experience a slowdown (ie NYC, etc), whereas the suburbs usually shut down for the night.
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,098 posts, read 7,651,082 times
Reputation: 3073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-o View Post
Id say theyre about equal. Dense urban centers usually have more people, therefore more energy used. Suburbs may have more cars, but also lack the amount of trains, buses, abundant taxis, etc. Also, in dense urban centers, some cities never experience a slowdown (ie NYC, etc), whereas the suburbs usually shut down for the night.
Uh Steve, the question asked on a "per capita basis".

Public transit is more efficient in terms of fuel used than a car containing a single passenger. Additionally, miles traveled per capita in dense cities tend to be lower than in surban sprawl. Furthermore, as the average square footage of residences in urban areas are smaller and often share common walls and floors (condos, apt), the amount of energy required to heat or cool them is less than in an area with predominantly single-family homes (suburbs).
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Greater Houston
3,030 posts, read 5,427,482 times
Reputation: 889
Let's expand this: Do multiple major cities create more pollution and create a large footprint on the environment than just one mega city. Is the mega city more efficient since the rest of the state can be used for farming (or in West Texas' case, ranching). For example Chicago vs. the three (or four) major cities in the eastern half of Texas. Is Chicago more efficient since it organizes the state's population in a smaller footprint than having multiple major cities (such as Texas) and more environmentally-friendly since it cuts down on business trips because the majority of the state's economic activity is located geographically close together (think of the business flights between Houston, DFW, San Antonio, and Austin vs. driving around Chicagoland)?
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Old 09-29-2008, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Western Chicagoland
18,533 posts, read 48,430,329 times
Reputation: 7278
Quote:
Originally Posted by sukwoo View Post
Uh Steve, the question asked on a "per capita basis".
Shhhh. I knew that, man, I knew that!



Anyways, I'd like to change my vote to "sprawling suburb" because, well, per capita (DOH!!!!!) it causes more pollution than a dense urban center.
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