Author David Owen, makes a strong argument, and one that flies in the face of many activities and technologies that are traditionally labeled as ‘green’ in Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are the Keys to Sustainability. Instead he argues that truly living green is living dense. In his own words his argument is that “living closer to one’s daily destinations, Manhattan-style, reduces vehicle miles traveled, makes transit and walking feasible as forms of transportation, increases the efficiency of energy production and consumption, limits the need to build superfluous infrastructure, and cuts the demand for such environmentally doomed extravagances as riding lawnmowers and household irrigation systems.”
Taking the debate further he challenges the conventional view of environmentalism, taking on the ideas that includes the protection and creation of large green spaces, local food production, and high-tech solutions such as solar panels and wind turbines arguing that “in terms of sustainability, dense cities have far more to teach us than solar-powered mountainside cabins or quaint old New England towns.” He takes it a step further arguing that large urban parks essentially sprawl out cities, and “inhibit many of the activities they are intended to encourage.”
While challenging the more traditional views of environmentalism, and taking on the U.S. energy he makes a compelling argument that the truest form of green living is the result of density.