Friday, January 31, 2014

Gates Mills' Carbon Footprint is Basically in Shaq Territory

Posted By on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 10:44 AM


The illustrious, sandal-wearing scientists at Berkeley have published a new study which identifies the carbon footprints of municipalities all across the United States. The scientists have assembled all sorts of economic research to triangulate the average household demand for energy, transportation, food, goods and services. The map is really cool and intricately color-coded.

Not like this is breaking news or anything, but the study finds that core cities (at least in more metropolitan areas) produce way less emissions (fewer emissions?) on average. Population density is by and large a good thing, the study concludes, up until the threshold at which people emigrate en masse to far-flung suburbs like Gates Mills, where high density has an adverse effect.

And Gates Mills is not just some arbitrary suburb I picked out of a hat, folks. It's far and away the worst carbon emissions offender in Northeast Ohio. Here are the other culprits, courtesy of Green City Blue Lake.

Hudson is a distant second, followed by deep suburban communities like Hinckley, Chagrin Falls and Novelty. It's not like homes in these communities are necessarily a lot larger or less eco-friendly than those in the inner-ring burbs or Cleveland neighborhoods (though they generally are). Most of the Gates Mills carbon footprint problems stem from driving, sometimes upwards of 70 miles every day just for a commute and a trip to the grocery store. This obviously isn't the only problem related to carbon emissions, but it has the folks at Green City Blue Lake wondering about regional planning outlooks and the relationship between core cities and their suburbs.

On the flip side, downtown, University Circle, Central and Kinsman, and the near west side were Cleveland's lowest-emission zip codes. (Downtown Akron and downtown Canton also did really well).

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