–How many people does Steffen estimate we will have living in or near cities by mid-century?
Steffen Estimates about eight million or more individuals.
–Explain how you agree or disagree with Steffen’s point that our energy use is “predestined” rather than “behavioral”.
I agree with the statement Steffen makes about our energy use being almost “predestined.” It brings to light the fact that if we wish to reduce our emissions we must plan for the future in addition to trying to take current action.
–What correlation does Steffen make between a city’s density and its climate emissions?
He states that studies have given reason to believe that with more density there are less climate emissions. This being because when a community is dense there is an increased likelihood that those residents will find all their necessities within their neighborhood.
–What are the “eco districts” that Steffen mentions? How you see these as feasible or unfeasible in a city like Norfolk?
“Eco districts” are high density neighborhoods which try to replicate the density-emission relationship noted in other high density neighborhoods by innovating the services and structures already present. The purpose is to create neighborhoods that provide most necessities within a close distance in order to eliminate the need to travel outside it regularly.
–Explain how you agree or disagree with the “threshold effect” that Steffen discusses related to transportation.
I agree with Steffen that there is a point where density hits a point where people simply use cars less. However, it could also be a question of whether this is due to the hassle involved in driving in an urban setting. This hassle would likely stem from traffic, difficulty finding space to park, and high amounts of pedestrians.
–What does Steffen mean by the idea that, “…even space itself is turning into a service…”? Can you provide any examples that you see here in Norfolk or elsewhere?
Some examples of space being presented as a service would be paying for parking spots in ODU garages or people renting out unused rooms,
–Describe your understanding of Steffen’s argument that, “…it’s not about the leaves above, but the systems below…”.
Steffen is trying to state that while greenery in an urban setting is a promising sign, it is much more important that the greenery is used not only for aesthetics but for practical uses, conservation, and connecting our cities back to the environment.
–Finally, overall in what way(s) do you see Steffen’s ideas working / not working here in Norfolk?
Norfolk is not dense enough at this point in time to truly convince the population to give up their cars. Imagining now, it seems hard to envision a Norfolk such as Steffen paints; however, I believe it is certainly possible even though it would be a long process. Norfolk has great attractions, especially around MacArthur Mall. It’s only a matter of finding the appropriate level of density and using innovation to give the community what it wants AND needs.