The Very Hungry City
Urban Energy Efficiency and the Economic Fate of Cities
384 Pages, 6.12 x 9.25 in, 49 b-w illus
- Published: Tuesday, 28 Jan 2014
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An important investigation of the ways that cities consume energy and how energy efficiency will determine which ones thrive in the future
As global demand for energy grows and prices rise, a city's energy consumption becomes increasingly tied to its economic viability, warns the author of The Very Hungry City. Austin Troy, a seasoned expert in urban environmental management, explains for general readers how a city with a high "urban energy metabolism"—that is, a city that needs large amounts of energy in order to function—will be at a competitive disadvantage in the future. He explores why cities have different energy metabolisms and discusses an array of innovative approaches to the problems of expensive energy consumption.
Troy looks at dozens of cities and suburbs in Europe and the United States—from Los Angeles to Copenhagen, Denver to the Swedish urban redevelopment project Hammarby Sjöstad—to understand the diverse factors that affect their energy use: behavior, climate, water supply, building quality, transportation, and others. He then assesses some of the most imaginative solutions that cities have proposed, among them green building, energy-efficient neighborhoods, symbiotic infrastructure, congestion pricing, transit-oriented development, and water conservation. To conclude, the author addresses planning and policy approaches that can bring about change and transform the best ideas into real solutions.
"Austin Troy delivers a fascinating—and chilling—look at our cities' dangerous dependence on an unpredictable world energy market. He shows why we need to break our addiction to cheap energy, and offers practical solutions on how to do it."—Arianna Huffington, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post~Arianna Huffington
"Engagingly written and meticulously researched, The Very Hungry City is a must-read for those who are interested in how energy is currently used in our communities and how those communities can use less while actually improving the quality of life."—Peter Shumlin, Governor of Vermont
~Lawrence E. Susskind“I felt I had learned a lot about the reasons that energy utilization patterns in urban America are as wasteful and intense as they are. I've not seen another book like this.”—Lawrence E. Susskind, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology