Posted by: Adam Roake | February 26, 2009


It really should not be necessary but this article by Edward Glaeser in the City Journal  makes very clear how building on greenfield land is intrinsically “un-green” compared with densification of our existing cities.  He states,

“Thoreau was wrong. Living in the country is not the right way to care for the Earth. The best thing that we can do for the planet is build more skyscrapers.”

Of course in the UK where according to housebuilders we love our detached house and garden, greenfield sites generate greater commercial profit but we need to take stock now if we are to get to grips with climate change.  Actually housebuilders will do whatever they are asked to do, as Ken Livingston’s policy on affordable housing  clearly demonstrated.  When he introduced it, there was an almighty outcry; but when he made it clear he was serious, housebuilders just got on with it – land values stuttered a bit but basically that’s where the hit was taken. 

And then we need to ask are “Eco-Towns” really actually all that ‘Eco’ or should we look to improve the carbon footprint of our existing towns cities.



  1. Quite right.

    You may be interested in this if you haven’t already spotted it.

    • I had seen the video and he’s very good, isn’t he?

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