To reduce emissions we have to build denser cities, not less

To meet California's ambitious goals of reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, regulators say the state must build dense and passable neighborhoods that allow people to get rid of their motor vehicles.

If you slow down development in cities, houses will spread over farmland, and people will end up making longer trips. As we explained, cities are greener than the countryside (if well designed).

The challenges of the cities

The YIMBY are mostly millennials who, angry at the shortage of urban housing, have begun to demand a construction boom that takes people out of their cars when they have to go to work every day, a reduction in rents and a paralyzing the urban expansion across the width.

Magazine Mountain range He published an admirable article about the YIMBY movement earlier this year.

Carol Galante, a professor of housing policy at the University of California, Berkeley, says that many environmental groups have begun to defend housing, reflecting this generational change. They can also be fun, passionate and a bit deranged. One even showed up on a television debate with a Batman shirt.

But in San Francisco, for example, all market-priced homes must be sold at luxury prices to make a profit. The land itself, the community planning process and the environmental reviews are surprisingly expensive. A new government-subsidized housing project in San Francisco cost $ 600,000 per apartment to build.

When environmentalists only support homes that offer rents below the market, they essentially oppose all private development. Some greens promote creative ideas for land trusts, government-backed cooperatives and other "anti-capitalist" options.

As the UCLA planning professor says Michael Lens: "You could say we need to blow up the system, but it doesn't seem particularly realistic. I think the YIMBY movement is right to work within that system and work with developers."

If the solution is to wait for the government to make affordable housing a priority, hardly anything will be built, argues Argues Brian Hanlon, a vegetarian YIMBY who hates the car.

Is YIMBY the future of environmentalism? Most researchers believe that housing activists are good for the environment, because they are driving cities to become denser and friendlier for public transport. But it's not always like this. The growth of cities must be controlled and friendly.