Metropolitan Residents Have the Lowest Carbon Footprints

Residents of metropolitan regions emit fewer greenhouse gas emissions per person than people who live in non-metro areas, according to a report written by the Brookings Institution and co-released today by Regional Plan Association and America 2050.

The academic researchers also found that regions with a more-compact geographic footprint and rail transit offer a more energy and carbon efficient lifestyle than more sprawling, automobile-dependent areas. 

The 100 largest metros emit only 56 percent of the U.S. transportation and residential carbon emissions while housing 65 percent of the nation's population and producing 76 percent of the nation's economic output.

The New York metropolitan region, including New York City, Northern New Jersey, and Long Island, has the smallest per capita transportation emissions in the country but ranks higher in carbon emissions from its residential buildings. The report underscores the tremendous benefit to the environment of the New York region's extensive public transit network and the need to continue to invest in these systems as the region faces the projected growth of 3 million additional residents by the year 2030.

Read the Brookings report.

Read the carbon profiles for the top 100 metropolitan regions in the United States.

Read the press release.