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Starred Review. While the conventional wisdom condemns it as an environmental nightmare, Manhattan is by far the greenest place in America, argues this stimulating eco-urbanist manifesto. According to Owen (Sheetrock and Shellac), staff writer at the New Yorker, New York City is a model of sustainability: its extreme density and compactness—and horrifically congested traffic—encourage a carfree lifestyle centered on walking and public transit; its massive apartment buildings use the heat escaping from one dwelling to warm the ones adjoining it; as a result, he notes, New Yorkers' per capita greenhouse gas emissions are less than a third of the average American's. The author attacks the powerful anti-urban bias of American environmentalists like Michael Pollan and Amory Lovins, whose rurally situated, auto-dependent Rocky Mountain Institute he paints as an ecological disaster area. The environmental movement's disdain for cities and fetishization of open space, backyard compost heaps, locavorism and high-tech gadgetry like solar panels and triple-paned windows is, he warns, a formula for wasteful sprawl and green-washed consumerism. Owen's lucid, biting prose crackles with striking facts that yield paradigm-shifting insights. The result is a compelling analysis of the world's environmental predicament that upends orthodox opinion and points the way to practical solutions. (Sept.)
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"David Owen advances the provocative argument that the asphalt jungle is greener than the places where most Americans live. A hard-hitting book that punctures many eco-balloons."
-Witold Rybczynski, author of City Life and Meyerson Professor of Urbanism at University of Pennsylvania
"David Owen always delights with his elegant insights and his challenges to conventional thinking. In this book, he does so again by puncturing the myth of ecological Arcadia and reminding us why living in cities is the best way to be green. It's a triumph of clear thinking and writing."
-Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
"Green Metropolis is a bracing, important work of contrarian truth- telling. Old-fashioned cities aren't just more interesting, more exciting, more fun-they're also by far the most sensible and efficient way to organize modern life. We city-dwellers live in the places we are waiting for." -Kurt Andersen, author of The Real Thing and Heyday
Like every other voice out there talking about how we are ruining the planet, Mr Owen does not address the true issue. Overpopulation. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Titan
i notice the author lives in an idyllic rural setting, i wonder if he'd trade that for the "green metropolis". Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ray G
At one time the author lived in NYC and that's what he talks about. Living in a city with a good mass transit, walkable conditions, and almost everything you need except a car. Read morePublished 12 months ago by mark yuschak
A great book that breaks down the common beliefs—myths, really—of Priuses and environmental trends. Can solar power really save us? Read morePublished 12 months ago by t0wnp1ann3r
Sometimes in the pursuit of sustainability we need to hold a mirror up to our efforts and recognize the ways in which inconsistencies and whims lead to outcomes that are not what... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Francis Vanek
That we're literally and figuratively "running out of gas," is not news. But David Owen's thorough coverage, use of data, and often surprising perspectives are news. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Jay Lubinsky
Gave as a gift. Assume everything was okay. No complaints. Wish I had the option of limiting future recommendations just to items I buy and ship to myself.Published 18 months ago by Gifts That Keep on Truckin'
After the first couple of chapters it's kind of like, "I get it... New York rules." but his writing style is quick and easy to read, as well as entertaining. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Leeann
If you don't mind other people and you enjoy public life, read this book. If you love your car and your McMansion more than anything else, don't read this book. Read morePublished on September 20, 2013 by Karla Guererri