Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Florida: Let's Grow Smarter and Healthier








Cities like San Francisco and Portland, Oregon often top the list as the “Greenest” cities in America for reasons including the number of available bicycle lanes, progressive recycling policies, and energy efficient buildings.  These “green” cities also boast respectable ridership statistics within their public transportation systems.  In Portland, Oregon a little over a quarter of daily commuters use public transportation - an impressive number for a city that size.  On the other hand lets consider Manhattan.  82% of Manhattan residents commute to work using public transportation per day! The reason for this is obvious and happened quite by accident.  The city is surrounded by water on three sides which caused development to concentrate inward and upward. Manhattan’s population density is more than 800 times that of the nation as a whole.  The average Manhattan resident doesn’t own a car (because they're so inefficient). They run most of their daily errands on foot, live in very small spaces (relatively speaking), and use very little energy thereby contributing to one of the smallest per-capita ecological footprints in the world. I’m sure that the founders and early developers of New York City were not considering “smart growth” in their early planning. However, as it turns out Manhattan embodies nearly every accepted smart growth principle: mixed land use, compact building design, livable/walkable neighborhoods, and development directed towards existing communities with a variety of transportation choices. Concentrating human activity concentrates pollution and also reduces the need to travel long distances.


Who knew Manhattan could be so “green?” 


It seems counter-intuitive that concentrating human activity is the answer to some of our most pressing environmental concern. However, it’s time we change our thinking regarding what it means to be “Green.”  Concentrating development and providing efficient transportation alternatives that reduce vehicle miles traveled also reduces the amount of fossil fuels we burn, the amount of smog and ozone we emit, and the number of doctor visits that result from respiratory illnesses triggered by these pollutants. Florida has surprisingly unhealthy air and 1 in 10 children suffer from asthma. It doesn’t have to be that way.


Granted, the average city in Florida is a far cry from Manhattan.  However, the consensus seems to be that Florida’s growth management and transportation policies are inadequate to support our growing population.  Urban sprawl is a serious issue in Florida and the argument could be made that it is a direct result of poor planning and regulatory frameworks. While Florida cities may never be as dense or have as many commuters that use alternatives to cars as Manhattan does, we can better serve a growing local demand for transportation choices and by so doing, grow in a way that creates far less sprawl.


The Florida Healthy Air campaign is poised to draw the connection between transportation, public health and our dependency on fossil fuels.  We need to build a community consensus that providing transportation alternatives and fostering livable communities is essential to ensuring that we will all have healthy air to breathe and a pristine environment to enjoy. It would be nearly impossible to imitate those policies adopted by NYC because of the innate uniqueness of that city- but we can argue that it is time for Florida to move past our archaic transportation policies that emphasize building more roads or widening existing ones. Those objectives do nothing but induce more traffic, exacerbate urban sprawl, and keep Floridians helplessly addicted to oil. Florida has an opportunity to make our communities distinct and livable by following a few examples provided to us by this accidental “Green City.”


 You may never ride the bus or train but you will nevertheless benefit because someone else did. When Floridians are given the same transportation choices that the majority of American’s enjoy, our air will get cleaner for everyone to breathe. Bottom line: Transit means Smarter, Healthier, Cleaner Communities. That is something we can all get behind. – Britten Cleveland, Sierra Club Conservation Organizer for the Florida Healthy Air Campaign

For more information on the Florida Healthy Air Campaign, contact:
Phil Compton, Regional Representative, phil.compton@sierraclub.org
Britten Cleveland, Conservation Organizer, britten.cleveland@sierraclub.org



4 comments:

oakleyses said...

longchamp pas cher, converse pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, ray ban pas cher, nike air max, michael kors, ray ban uk, longchamp, true religion outlet, ralph lauren pas cher, true religion jeans, air jordan, ralph lauren uk, lacoste pas cher, michael kors canada, vans pas cher, lululemon outlet online, oakley pas cher, hermes pas cher, new balance pas cher, burberry pas cher, true religion outlet, nike roshe run, michael kors uk, nike free pas cher, hollister uk, tn pas cher, scarpe hogan, timberland pas cher, guess pas cher, mulberry uk, coach purses, nike air force, hollister, louboutin, air max pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, north face, true religion, north face pas cher

oakleyses said...

christian louboutin outlet, replica watches, christian louboutin shoes, michael kors outlet store, michael kors outlet online sale, nike outlet, longchamp outlet, kate spade outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, red bottom shoes, prada outlet, tiffany and co, kate spade outlet, gucci handbags, longchamp handbags, longchamp outlet online, oakley sunglasses, burberry outlet online, burberry outlet online, chanel handbags, nike free, tory burch outlet online, coach outlet, ray ban outlet, tiffany jewelry, polo ralph lauren, michael kors handbags, nike air max, christian louboutin, prada handbags, ray ban sunglasses, oakley vault, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, jordan shoes, coach outlet, coach outlet store online, polo ralph lauren outlet

oakleyses said...

hollister, asics shoes, soccer shoes, nike free, p90x workout, nfl jerseys, mont blanc pens, lululemon outlet, herve leger, new balance outlet, birkin bag, giuseppe zanotti, instyler ionic styler, abercrombie and fitch, insanity workout, beats headphones, ferragamo shoes, nike air huarache, vans outlet, wedding dresses, chi flat iron, ghd, bottega veneta, nike air max, nike trainers, jimmy choo shoes, celine handbags, reebok shoes, north face jackets, nike roshe, babyliss, soccer jerseys, longchamp, mcm handbags, abercrombie and fitch, valentino shoes, north face jackets, air max, nike roshe, mac cosmetics

oakleyses said...

sac lancel, thomas sabo uk, iphone 6 case, toms outlet, juicy couture outlet, oakley, louboutin, converse shoes, converse, coach outlet, timberland boots, ralph lauren, nike air max, supra shoes, abercrombie, links of london uk, ray ban, vans, replica watches, air max, hollister clothing store, swarovski jewelry, montre femme, pandora jewelry, juicy couture, marc jacobs handbags, pandora charms, gucci, baseball bats, swarovski uk, karen millen, wedding dress, pandora uk, hollister canada

Post a Comment