By Wendell Cox


The Reason Foundation has published my new research reviewing the potential for urban containment (or other restrictive policies that are sometimes called “smart growth”) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Principal reports cited by advocates of urban containment are reviewed. The conclusion is that only minimal reductions if the gains from improved automobile fuel economy are excluded. Of course, fuel economy improvements have nothing to do with urban containment policy, but are unrelated policy options that allow people to avoid draconian lifestyle changes that probably are impossible anyway.

The report, “Urban Containment: The Social and Economic Consequences of Limiting Housing and Travel Options” expresses concern that the use of costly GHG reduction strategies, such as urban containment, has the potential to create significant economic disruption and unemployment. The report concludes that sufficient GHG emission reductions can be achieved without urban containment policy and its attendant economic problems: “The key is focusing on the most cost-effective strategy, without unnecessarily interfering with the dynamics that have produced the nation’s affluence.”

Read more and download the full report at

Photograph: BMW i3. 124 miles per gallon equivalent electric car (currently available)
by TTTNIS – Own work, CC0,

This post was originally published by on 5/5/2016