Seed Magazine is one of my favorite science magazines. Last night I finally got to the July/August issue, and came across a great article by Jonah Lehrer, on ‘The Living City’. Lots of interesting thoughts about cities as living organisms. The one that stuck with me, was the idea about cities as ‘bastions of environmentalism’ :
‘People who live in densely populated places lead environmentally friendly lives. They consume fewer resources per person and take up less space. (On average, city dwellers use about half as much electricity as people living outside the city limits.) And because efficiency scales with the size of the population, big cities are always more efficient than small cities. An environmentally friendly place is simply one with lots and lots of people. While rural towns might look green -all those lawns and trees are reassuring-their per-captita rates of consumption and pollution are significantly higher. The secret to creating a more environmentally sustainable society is making our big cities bigger. We need more metropolises.’
And here I thought I was doing so well, living in Palo Alto, in my suburban house, with a garden, and lots of trees along the street . . .