If we all lived at the density people in Brooklyn do, everyone in America would fit in New Hampshire. I’m not suggesting that we all move to New Hampshire, of course. But imagine the problems we’d solve if our major cities were condensed.
If places are closer together, people can walk more. This doesn’t just make for a healthier population though exercise, it reduces pollution. For distances that aren’t comfortably walkable, a good public transportation system wouldn’t be as daunting a project as it is now, again reducing pollution.
We’d reduce the amount of building materials needed per person and energy needed to heat/cool homes because most everyone would live in an apartment. Because people would be concentrated in certain locations, we’d reduce the transportation costs for food and goods.
The most important consequence of increasing the density of cities would be all of the land we wouldn’t be taking up space on. Less habitat destruction and fragmentation would give so many more species a chance as the climate changes.
As nice it it could be, implementing this kind of design seems almost impossible. Will people ever leave the suburbs? And what will happen to the suburbs if they are abandoned?