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Golden Gate Xpress
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SF State researchers show smart growth urban planning conserves energy
Researchers at San Francisco State University have demonstrated that smart urban planning emphasizing density and less distances between home and work can pay dividends in energy saving. Smaller communities in California can benefit by following the lead of smart planning initiatives in San Francsico and Los Angeles. Allowing residents to travel less pays off in a greener, cleaner, and more prosperous urban center.
Excerpt: " A new behavioral economics study out of SF State shows how 'smart' urban growth can contribute to a reduction in vehicle emissions. The term smart growth is all about denser cities with jobs being placed closer to home with more public transportation.
'The results of the study are exciting because it confirms what a lot of smart growth theorists have argued since the ’70s — that people will drive less if urban centers are more "compact" and destinations are more easily and affordably reached without a car,' said Emily Ward, a master’s student at SF State who worked on the project.
By planning urban spaces with smart growth plans, each household could travel 4,400 miles less each year. With just a 10 percent increase in smart growth features in cities, the study shows each house would travel 20 percent less."