An upside to urban sprawl

Hillary Wicai Jan 12, 2007
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An upside to urban sprawl

Hillary Wicai Jan 12, 2007
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SCOTT JAGOW: A new study says urban sprawl is taking its toll on the planet. Marketplace’s Hillary Wicai has more.


HILLARY WICAI: It used to be the vast majority of the world’s people lived in rural areas, but by sometime next year more than half of all people will live in urban areas.

A new report says cities cover less than 1 percent of the earth’s surface but generate the bulk of the world’s carbon emissions.

But that’s not a minus. Worldwatch Institute President Christopher Flavin says cities hold the keys to tackling both poverty and climate change.

CHRISTOPHER FLAVIN: Increasingly, cities are the source of many of the world’s problems — whether those be social problems or environmental problems — but are also the areas where problems can be solved and increasingly are being solved.

In other words since the problem is concentrated in cities, a targeted solution is possible.

Some creative solutions include urban farming and the high use of solar power.

Global development priorities have been focused on rural areas. Advocates now say the world needs to shift those to cities.

In Washington, I’m Hillary Wicai for Marketplace.

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