Urban Density & Transport Related Energy Consumption…

Alex Steffen used this chart in his TED talk, The Shareable Future of Cities, where he makes the point that the more densely we live (urban), the less energy we require. Steffen uses a line graph to show the relationship between city density and transportation energy consumption. He also colors the cities based on their continent.
The graph shows that the American cities use the most energy while Asia uses the least. Meanwhile, America is the least dense and Asia is the most dense.
It would be interesting for the students to speculate the reasonings behind these findings. For instance, the less dense a city is the farther things are, and when cars are as common as they are in America, it may seem pointless to not drive the several miles to the grocery store. Meanwhile, in more dense cities, to promote the use of mass transportation and traveling by foot, there are markets all over the cities. Also the cities that have lower levels of spent energy have higher poverty levels. People simply can’t afford the energy supplies it takes.

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