Urban Sprawl Heats Things Up

Researchers at Georgia Tech have recently found evidence that in decentralized and sprawling cities (such as Los Angeles), the frequency of very hot days is higher than in more compact cities. The post by Treehugger notes that the resource-intensive nature of urban sprawl creates a positive feedback that only serves to makes matters worse:

A roundabout connect the dots: Sprawling urban areas mean more trees cleared --» with larger housing spaces, increasingly cooled by air conditioning powered by greenhouse gas spewing sources --» means increasing average temperatures --» means more air conditioning usage --» [repeat]. Time to rethink this norm from both an energy and architectural/urban planning perspective.


The post also offers some interesting links about life before the thermostat, as well as some much needed solutions to our air conditioning addiction.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user Matt Lemmon via Treehugger