Patt Morrison for April 10, 2012

Feeding the hungry city

Yale University Press

"The Very Hungry City: Urban Energy Efficiency and the Economic Fate of Cities" by Austin Troy

As every athlete and teenage boy knows, the higher your metabolism, the more energy you need to consume. The same is true for cities. Cities with a high energy metabolism – that is, those that need large amounts of energy in order to function – will find themselves increasingly hungry in the years to come.

In his new book, Austin Troy shows how, as population increases, urban sprawl continues and global demand for energy grows, each city’s viability will be closely tied to its energy consumption. Cities face diverse challenges tied to their energy needs, whether they’re pumping water into a desert metropolis, supplying air conditioning to millions of buildings, or fueling miles of freeway travelers – at one person per car. Troy outlines the problems, which are complex and enormous. But he also offers solutions, gleaned from cities throughout the globe that have made energy efficiency and affordability a priority – without sacrificing quality of life.

WEIGH IN:

How can Los Angeles prepare for an energy famine?

Guest:

Austin Troy, author, “The Very Hungry City”


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