City? Suburbia? City? Suburbia?

Marie Pellegrino - Contributing Writer
Posted on Saturday 23rd May 2009
Where is the best place to live? People are always divided on this subject. Many firmly believe that suburbs are the greatest places to raise a family and work because one could always commute. Others do not want to leave a city – everything is at their fingertips and in most cities, they don’t need a car. The list of pros and cons for each can go on and on. However, which is better for the planet is not as clear for some environmentalists. For many people, the air in suburbs smells more fresh and crisp. And traffic is never as bad as it is in a city. Therefore, suburbia seems the likely choice for being more “green” if there is a competition. And, yes, a city has tons of traffic and pollution from automobiles, especially Los Angeles. Yet, a city is concentrated in an area and does not increase deforestation. Suburbia for some scholars only adds to environmental problems. One surprising reason lies in the amount of gasoline used in lawn mowers. While that may seem small, it all adds up. Another reason is all of the chemicals used on lawns that seep into the ground water. Is it necessary to mention the amount of gas used by cars on the morning and evening commutes and all the trips to go shopping? While suburbia may be a beautiful place to live and raise children, it is not as healthy for the environment as many would think. Indeed, it is better to build up rather than out. And that is not only to help lessen pollution and global warming, but also to allow animals to keep their habitats and to leave forests standing; after all, trees absorb carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, reducing the threat of global warming. In the end, it is not as clear as to where to live if someone really cares about the environment, but I would pick a city, just not Los Angeles.

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