Trvale udržitelná města

NEW YORK – Většině lidí se velká, hustě osídlená města jeví jako ekologické noční můry, jako nehostinná krajina plná betonu, odpadků, výfukových zplodin a dopravních zácep. Ve srovnání s jinými osídlenými místy jsou však velkoměsta modelem ekologické zodpovědnosti. Podle nejrelevantnějších měřítek je nejzelenější komunitou ve Spojených státech New York, jediné americké velkoměsto, které se blíží ekologickým standardům zavedeným jinde ve světě.

Průměrný Newyorčan vyprodukuje 7,1 tun skleníkových plynů ročně; to je více než průměrný Švéd, který vyprodukuje 5,6 tun, ale zároveň to není ani 30% amerického průměru ve výši 24,5 tun. Obyvatelé Manhattanu, kde je ze všech pěti newyorských čtvrtí největší hustota osídlení, vyprodukují ještě méně.

Klíčem k relativní ekologické neškodnosti New Yorku je jeho extrémní kompaktnost. Manhattan vykazuje hustotu osídlení přibližně 26 000 obyvatel na čtvereční kilometr, což je přes 800krát více než celoamerický průměr a zhruba 30krát více než hustota osídlení v Los Angeles. Větší semknutost lidí snižuje vzdálenosti jejich každodenních destinací, omezuje příležitosti k bezuzdné spotřebě a současně nutí většinu lidí bydlet v bytových domech, které patří k energeticky nejefektivnějším obytným budovám na světě.

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