Suburban Sprawl Cancels Carbon-Footprint Savings of Dense Urban Cores

Robert Sanders, reporting for UC Berkeley:

According to a new study by UC Berkeley researchers, population-dense cities contribute less greenhouse-gas emissions per person than other areas of the country, but these cities’ extensive suburbs essentially wipe out the climate benefits.

A key finding of the UC Berkeley study is that suburbs account for half of all household greenhouse gas emissions, even though they account for less than half the U.S. population. The average carbon footprint of households living in the center of large, population-dense urban cities is about 50 percent below average, while households in distant suburbs are up to twice the average.

Can you have a dense urban core without the suburban sprawl? It hasn't been possible recently.