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Cities: A Smart Alternative to Cars

Creating compact communitiesand eliminating the need to drive everywheremay be the best way to slash greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles

The answer to the problem of the American car is not under its hood.

Today's cars are costly, dangerous, and an ecological nightmare. Transportation generates more than a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gases, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A portion of that comes from moving freight around but more than 20% is personal transportation. Our vehicle emissions are a major climate change contributor, but what comes out of the tailpipe is only a fraction of the total climate impact of driving a car, and the climate impact is in turn only a part of the environmental and social damage cars cause. Improving mileage will not fix these problems.