A report this week on cities’ design coupled with a recent baby boomer trend could prove to be a good sign for the environment.

A report on how a city’s design and transit system can ease gas costs seems rather obvious. Those who symbolize living in a big city with leaving a big carbon footprint are simply wrong. The amount of energy a person living in the city uses is far less than someone living in the suburbs.

The average American driver logs 25 miles per day. Motorists in compactly developed cities that have extensive transit systems can drive nearly 50% less. The way to cut back on driving miles in a city isn’t by reducing commutes, says Carol Coletta, president and CEO of the group: “What adds up is all those small trips, which are much shorter and not as necessary,” she says. “The question is, how do we make the city a place where we don’t have to drive as much or as often?”

It makes sense considering suburban sprawl has coincided with the rise in greenhouse gas emissions. Should we all just live in big cities? I’m sure the mayors of Buffalo, Detroit and Cleveland would love to make that mandatory, but for many Americans its unreasonable – and too stressful. But not for seniors.

Baby boomers older than 60 have been left with large, empty houses in the suburbs – and now are moving back toward cities for many reasons, including gas prices, environmental concerns and social and demographic change. But cities are adapting, according to this article:

Ms. Evans says many decorators are telling her that the boomers want to transform the style of their houses along with their lives, trading in a suburban house for an urban loft, for example. She added: “Baby boomers have always been experimental. That won’t change as they get older. They’re willing to go outside their comfort zones.”

It seems the baby boomers might have the answer to climate change after all.

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