Choosing Urban Living for its Green-ness
The most sustainable housing locations are those close to the amenities that enable you to live a green lifestyle. For that reason, living in the city is usually your most eco-friendly choice. Being within walking or cycling distance of the following services means you can reduce your carbon footprint in your daily life:
Transportation: Proximity to transportation networks, such as bus stops, light rail systems, and railway stations, reduces your need to travel by vehicle. The inner-city areas of big cities and regional towns, where there's a concentration of stores and jobs, are most accessible for public transportation systems and are beginning to actively promote walking and cycling. A sustainable urban area has safe, well-lit, and good-quality walking and cycling paths and low levels of vehicle traffic.
Essential services: The ability to walk or cycle to schools, churches, public open spaces, community services, daycare facilities, libraries, and stores makes life easier and greener for everyone, especially children who don't have to rely on you to drive them everywhere.
Cultural and recreational facilities: Easy access to open space, parks, sports facilities, and recreation areas keeps you in tune with Mother Nature's greenery, and nearby concert halls and theatres feed your artistic soul.
Community center: You can tell that you're in a vibrant, sustainable community when people of all ages and cultures walk the streets; all the stores and services are open; the streets and sidewalks are clean; and there's a good mix of housing styles and types, which implies a good socioeconomic mix as well.
As your children's social lives become more active, you may have to make endless journeys to and from sports and social gatherings — or the nearest transportation center. When choosing the greenest possible location for your home, consider the needs of your children as well as yourself.