Santa Fe Institute

The case for denser living

Jan. 15, 2013 3:20 p.m.

BBC blogger Gaia Vince reviews the sustainability benefits of dense urban living and cites research by SFI's cities and urbanization team.

"The denser the city, the more productive, efficient and powerful it becomes," he writes. "The theoretical physicists, Luis Bettencourt and Geoffrey West calculated that if the population of a city is doubled, average wages go up by 15%, as do other measures of productivity, like patents per capita. Economic output of a city of 10 million people will be 15-20% higher than that of two cities of 5 million people. Incomes are on average five times higher in urbanised countries with a largely rural population. And at the same time, resource use and carbon emissions plummet by 15% for every doubling in density, because of more efficient use of infrastructure and better use of public transportation."

Read the article on BBC.com (December 17, 2012)

Read Andrew Sullivan's blog mention in the Huffington Post (January 1, 2013)

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