By Elizabeth Royte, The New York Times, September 8, 2009

A Review of Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are the Keys to Sustainability, By David Owen

People in cities use about half as much electricity as people who don’t, Owen reports, and the average New Yorker generates fewer greenhouse gases annually than “residents of any other American city, and less than 30 percent of the national average.”

And the carbon footprint of the hybrid-driving country dweller with her triple-paned windows, backyard composter and geothermal heat pump? Fuhgeddaboudit…

No, we haven’t read it yet, but this review points to another promising new book about why cities are the place to live. Reviewer Elizabeth Royte quotes the strengths of Owen’s arguments, but adds a healthy dose of criticism to his one-size-fits-all solutions. Our suburbs are built and surely won’t be abandoned completely, so we’ll have to find a mix of ways to live sustainably, from exurb to inner city.