Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet by Alex Steffen

By Alex Steffen

"Alex Steffen could be the world's boldest, so much leading edge philosopher approximately destiny towns. Carbon 0 will stretch, galvanize, motivate, and reassure. it is the ideal present in your smartest friends."

—Denis Hayes, Earth Day founder and president of the Bullitt Foundation

“Can planet Earth aid 10 billion humans? the reply is determined by what occurs to the world’s towns. Alex Steffen illuminates the thoughts during which, in an age of weather and inhabitants adjustments, we will be able to desire to innovate, act and prosper.”

—Chris Anderson, curator, TED conferences

“Could support us give you the option to outlive or even thrive within the face of a planetary problem that political leaders… were reluctant to face.”

—The Atlantic

“Hurricane Sandy reminded us that towns are the place weather switch crashes into way of life. however the information isn’t all undesirable — this notable little ebook indicates how the way forward for the planet is determined by construction greater towns and the type of new considering we have to start. learn Carbon 0 straight away, simply because time is short.”

—Bill McKibben

“A deep and encouraging handbook for imagining how our towns can develop into the answer to our weather woes.”


“Carbon 0 indicates us how rethinking towns can let us to chop emissions, carry nature again into our groups and construct a optimistic direction ahead into the long run. Please learn this significant publication. It’s time to get to work.”

—Mark Tercek, President and CEO, the character Conservancy

“Redefines what being a profitable urban skill in a speedily warming and more and more urbanized world.”


Carbon 0 is a quick, transparent, confident examine how towns can reach the age of weather outcomes. it is approximately altering how we develop our towns, if you want to grab a greater destiny. even if your major quandary is the way forward for your local or the way forward for the planet, this can be a e-book you must read.

The weather main issue is upon us, it really is huge and it is getting worse quick. We needs to make daring and quick rate reductions in our weather emissions. in truth, in exactly the following couple a long time we needs to in attaining net-zero weather emissions. that concentrate on, 0 carbon, provides a phenomenal problem.

Our towns, notwithstanding, supply us striking possibilities to minimize our weather emissions whereas bettering either our financial system and our groups.

Solutions abound. From innovative eco-friendly constructions to extra walkable neighborhoods, new "walkshed" applied sciences to eco-friendly infrastructure, the sharing economic system to the reconnection of city locations to rural nature, we've a device chest of methods that could make our lives frugal in strength yet ample in wealth and caliber of lifestyles. If we carry the simplest ideas jointly in our towns, we will construct towns which can lead us into the zero-carbon future.

We cannot construct, although, what we will not think. Carbon 0 takes at the job of imagining how these types of techniques may possibly interact, and provides you the instruments to reimagine the chances of your urban. it isn't a blueprint. it is not a manifesto.

Carbon 0 is a call for participation to visualize profitable the weather struggle.

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Extra resources for Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet

Example text

Most of the time, transit isn’t practical at low densities. It only starts to become practical as enough people live within walking distance of a transit point, like a bus stop or light rail station, to make running a bus or train worthwhile. Once more people do live in a neighborhood, any increase in population makes things better: more neighbors just means demand for even better transit. ” The more people who live near transit, the more practical transit becomes. Compactness also makes transit work better.

Instead of achieving emissions cuts by trying to build wind turbines that outcompete coal plants (on a political playing field tilted against them), these cities eliminate our need for coal plants to begin with. We’ll still need a lot of wind turbines. But supplying clean energy to cities that use a small fraction of the energy they do today is a much cheaper and more achievable goal than trying swap the entire power system with clean alternatives. The ability to drop energy demand and meet that lower demand with realistically deployable clean energy makes carbon–zero cities possible.

A footprint, of course, is the measurement of the total impacts of a thing, be it a building, business, or ballgame. Consumption, of course, describes the things we use. So consumption–based footprinting is an attempt to measure the total impacts of everything we use. Boiled down: If we use it, its emissions are ours, no matter where the thing originated. Now, footprinting is a bit of an arcane art. Because cities themselves are brain–boggling in their complexity, modeling the kinds and amounts of greenhouse gases their economies create represents a considerable task.

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