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09/05/2007: "Energy Efficiency in NYC"
Just received, in an email from my co-editor and publisher at New Colonist, an interesting quote from David Owen, writing in The New Yorker. He says:
New York City is more populous than all but eleven states; if it were granted statehood, it would rank fifty-first in per-capita energy use.
A dry-sounding statement on the face of it, but when you think for a moment, you realize it means that NYC is one of the most energy-efficient regions in the country.

More populated than all but eleven states, yet if it were a state, it would rank lowest in per-capita energy use!

Why? According to Owen, "Eighty-two per cent of Manhattan residents travel to work by public transit, by bicycle, or on foot." That's one big reason.

Likewise, all those apartments mean more energy efficiency: having only one or two walls exposed to the outside, rather than all four walls and a roof, means less heat gain or loss through those walls. And of course the reduced footprints of taller buildings means everything can be closer together, and that in turn means that regardless of transport mode used--subway, bus, foot, bike, or even car--you need not travel as far to get things done.

And it's a wealthy and exciting city with plenty of good food--what more could you want? I mean, if it were so awful to live there, then a 600-square-foot apartment wouldn't cost as much as a four-bedroom house in LA, would it?

Read the entire article (PDF): Green Manhattan

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