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Phil McDermott – This post examines the idea that we can promote sustainability by increasing the densities of large cities around their centres. This compact city paradigm presumes that we can reshape the consumption of citizens in environmentally benign ways by reshaping the cities they live in.
The sustainability challenge is the challenge of consumption: how much and what we consume drives our impact on the planet. But presuming that by enforcing urban intensification we will transform ingrained patterns of consumption in favour of the environment may be a step too far. Will obliging more citizens to live at higher densities in smaller dwellings around city centres really pave the way to environmental salvation?
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