"If you love nature, stay away from it." - Another look at whether cities are the greenest place to live

Boston
CC BY 2.0 Wikipedia/ Downtown Boston

Ever since David Owen wrote the popular book The Green Metropolis and Ed Glaeser wrote The Triumph of the City, this has become the standard response. In fact it has been expanded and refined to suggest that the denser and higher the city, the greener it is. At LifeEdited, David Friedlander quotes Glaeser:

Besides touting the City’s fertile conditions for economic progress, innovation and wellbeing, Glaeser asserts that cities are far greener than their arboreal suburban and rural neighbors. In a Boston Globe op-ed published a few years ago, Glaeser starts his piece with an anecdote about how Henry David Thoreau–the “secular saint of environmentalism” as he put it–set fire to 300 acres of forest around Concord, MA while communing with nature. He argues that Thoreau’s fire is analogous to the human desire to live around–and in–nature. It’s a nice idea, but a grim reality. He warns that “we are a destructive species, and if you love nature, stay away from it.”

I am no fan of Glaeser and think he is being provocative here, David wonders "Are cities inherently the greenest place to live? Or is the city mouse just outsourcing his dirt? Is there a winner?" More at LifeEdited

Tags: New York City | Urban Planning