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A roadmap for the built environment by A-P Hurd and Al Hurd

Despite the numbing array of visions for more sustainable cities, neighborhoods, buildings, and transportation networks, remarkably little has been written about how we can get investment flowing to these challenges.

Recognizing the need for economic stability, the scarcity of public funds and the realities of market economics, The Carbon Efficient City identifies realistic opportunities for progress. None of our institutions--in the public or private sectors--can be expected to work against their own self-interest. Recognizing that, the book charts a path that allows for cities and regions to evolve in more economically productive and less energy-intensive ways.

A need for coordinated action

Powerful voices in the industrialized world are now calling for a systematic approach to solving the problem of greenhouse gas emissions without damaging our already fragile economy. On December 3, 2009, The Economist published a special report which asserted that it is time to begin investing in lower-carbon solutions, and that doing so in a market-driven way will result in greater adoption and market efficiency. More recently, on July 7, 2012, they expressed support for economically efficient tools such as Australia's recent tax-shift away from income taxes and toward a new carbon tax:

“The best taxes impinge little on the decisions people make, or fall on things worth inhibiting. Carbon taxes are an example of the second, forcing people to bear more of the cost of the carbon they burn, including its un-priced contribution to global warming."

Practical solutions

Though many books offer analysis of the threats of global warming, or describe solutions, this is the first to answer the next big question: how do we persuade such disparate groups as political parties, different levels of government, environmental nonprofits, private business and investors to act, together?

We have to change the human systems that affect how we generate and consume energy. It can be done and this book tells us how.

William D. Ruckelshaus, founding head of the Environmental Protection Agency

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