It's not just for home values!
Where you live versus where you work, shop, play and go to school are big factors in how big you carbon footprint is.
It's not just the obvious, the distances between where we live and where we need to go. Locations determine whether we have transportation choices.
If TARC doesn't run from your neighborhood to your destination, you can't ride it there. Every trip to work, school, sports practices, the grocery, medical appointments, etc. must be by private automobile. Children depend on adults to get around until they turn 16 and earn a license, sometimes slowing their maturation. Retirees can suffer more social isolation because they don't encounter neighbors, say, on front porches as they walk to the mailbox or coffee shop.
If a major roadway of fast moving traffic separates you and your destination, you may not be comfortable getting there by bicycle. Besides the greater risk of being hit, you may hesitate to inhale concentrated tailpipe emisisions. If an elevated highway separates you, there may be no lane width for a bicyclist.
Many suburban neighborhoods lack sidewalks. Or they have sidewalks that don't lead to places residents need to go. Routing school buses through subdivisions with only one inter-connection to the rest of the community lengthens students' bus rides, requiring earlier morning pick-up times, which is especially hard on teenagers. And school snow days are more likely because some isolated subdivisions aren't plowed in time for buses.
Auto-dependency contributes to our region's very high incidence of obesity and related diseases. Location can influence even the size of dwellings, dictating how much space must be heated and cooled.
Being dependent on private transportation is expensive. In 2017, AAA calculated that the average Louisville household spent $8,500 annually to buy, insure and operate a new automobile. Operating used cars can be costly. If you live where your household can give up a car, you can save thousands.
LCAN realizes housing choices are limited. Not everyone can live in the existing walkable neighborhoods. Louisville needs more of these "Smart Growth" options:
Walkable, mixed-use new developments, with retail stores integrated into the neighborhood
Re-development of "grayfield" sites, such as turning old school buildings into multi-family housing
Rental units and condos, as most households nowadays don't need a 4-BR house on a quarter-acre and seniors are the nation's fastest growing demographic.
Affordable housing in all areas of town accessible by public transportation
Still, despite the challenges we face when choosing where to live, LCAN urges you to compare the carbon footprints --- especially regarding transportation --- of your options.