One of the great upcoming challenges for the world's cities is the reduction of carbon emissions. According to a study by the University of Colorado at Boulder, Paris's urban density and horizontal construction is the most optimal urban form for reducing carbon emissions over the long term.
In a recent study from the University of Colorado at Boulder conducted in collaboration with Edinburgh Napier University and published in the journal Urban Sustainability , researchers reveal that low-rise, dense environments like those found in Paris "are the optimal urban form when seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions" over the long term.
By studying four urban typologies, based on real-world databases and thousands of simulations, the researchers found that U.S. urban patterns "are not necessarily optimal," as Jay Arehart, author of the scientific paper and an instructor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, said in a Phys.org article. "We have shown that new developments should focus on minimizing the carbon of buildings over their lifetime, not just the emissions associated with their operation or materials. The density is necessary for a growing urban population, but the height is not," he adds.
The study's lead author, Francesco Pomponi, a professor at Edinburgh Napier University, confirms the findings. "So it seems that the world needs more Paris and less Manhattan over the next few decades."
A far cry from the Asian giants, the French capital remains one of the densest cities in the world with nearly 20,331 people per square kilometer. It's three times denser than New York City, which has 7,101 inhabitants per square kilometer.