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Sustainable living means living in a city

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just published its latest climate change report. Available here. As a follow-up to this report, Dezeen spoke with Hélène Chartier of the sustainable urbanism network C40 Cities. And she makes some very good points about the importance of cities in combatting climate change.

In fact, she goes so far as to say that sustainable living is only really possible, at scale, in cities. Because to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you need the right kind of infrastructure in place. And to have the right kind of infrastructure in place, you need density.

This crucial point is often forgotten (though never on this blog). If you are truly concerned about climate change, then you should be for urban density. And if you are out there fighting against urban density, then your actions are undermining this global imperative.

Chartier rightly points out that “architects have a huge responsibility” when it comes to addressing climate change. And this is entirely true. Their job is the built environment. But with all due respect to architects, the problems that need solving are ultimately much broader. Architects can only do so much if they’re hamstrung by dumb land use policies and angry neighbors, among other things.

This needs to be a coordinated effort. We all have a huge responsibility.

Photo by Kaspars Upmanis on Unsplash

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