The Congress for the New Urbanism held a Climate Summit in Alexandria, Virginia in October to brainstorm on solutions to climate change. The recent catastrophic hurricanes in Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida—some link the heightened storm activity to climate change—makes the topic especially urgent. The tendency of citizens and elected officials to repeat the same mistakes over and over again makes the task daunting.
The “elephant in the living room” is sprawl. “Land use is not a big consideration in today’s climate action plans being adopted by cities,” notes Jen McGraw of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, reporting at the summit. “Affordable transportation is not prioritized.”