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Download Green Metropolis: What the City Can Teach the Country About True Sustainability Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Green Metropolis: What the City Can Teach the Country About True Sustainability Audiobook, by David Owen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.65565217391304 out of 53.65565217391304 out of 53.65565217391304 out of 53.65565217391304 out of 53.65565217391304 out of 5 3.66 (23 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Owen Narrator: Patrick Lawlor Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781400183715
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Most Americans think of crowded cities as ecological nightmares-as wastelands of concrete and garbage and diesel fumes and traffic jams. Yet residents of compact urban centers, David Owen shows, individually consume less oil, electricity, and water than other Americans. They live in smaller spaces, discard less trash, and, most important of all, spend far less time in automobiles. Residents of Manhattan-the most densely populated place in North America-rank first in public-transit use and last in per-capita greenhouse gas production, and they consume gasoline at a rate that the country as a whole hasn't matched since the mid-1920s, when the most widely owned car in the United States was the Ford Model T. They are also among the only people in the United States for whom walking is still an important means of daily transportation. These achievements are not accidents. Spreading people thinly across the countryside may make them feel green, but it doesn't reduce the damage they do to the environment. In fact, it increases the damage, while also making the problems they cause harder to see and to address. Owen contends that the environmental problem we face, at the current stage of our assault on the world's nonrenewable resources, is not how to make teeming cities more like the pristine countryside. The problem is how to make other settled places more like Manhattan, whose residents presently come closer than any other Americans to meeting environmental goals that all of us, eventually, will have to come to terms with. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Owen's style...is cool, understated and witty; it does not appear to be in his nature to be alarmist. But this is a thoroughly alarming book. The Washington Post

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew Mutch | 2/17/2014

    " What's the greenest city in the US? Would you be surprised if someone told you New York City? If so, David Owen makes a compelling case why NYC is one of the US's greenest cities and why much of what passes for being green and sustainable is neither. An interesting read that's not afraid to take whacks at some of the sacred cows of the environmental movement. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Reynolds | 2/11/2014

    " This book made me rethink many of my assumptions about what sustainability means. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine Siemann | 2/9/2014

    " A book to make New Yorkers feel good about themselves -- our undersized, overpriced apartments mean we are at the cutting edge of sustainability. At times reading book was frustrating: locavorism, smaller cars with higher gas mileage, alternative energy sources -- according to Owen these mean little, unless the majority of the country changes the way they live. As a New Yorker, I happen to like my pedestrian, minimalist lifestyle, but most Americans seem to prefer their big houses and their SUVs, so perhaps combining these strategies might be a more workable approach. Overall, it's a good critique of various environmental solutions and pieties, though it reads like an extension of the New Yorker article it began as. I did find one thing puzzling, though; the author freely admits to living in small-town semi-rural Connecticut. If high-density urban living is our clearest path towards sustainability, who's going to make the first move? (Except we New Yorkers, who now have one thing more to feel smug about.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jay | 12/25/2013

    " Touts the embedded sustainability of living in a city as compared to the suburbs or rural areas. Meanders a bit off the premise but the first 1/3 is interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hilary | 11/28/2013

    " Owen's arguments are solid and fly in the face of conventional thinking. But after 200 pages of good sense, a weak rationale for not living in a city himself undermines all his good work. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jillian | 11/13/2013

    " He repeats himself far too much. He admits he doesn't live the way he outlines in this book, even though he used to, and his explanation for his hypocrisy is very unsatisfying. I liked the section about China, but otherwise... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gregsmada | 6/18/2013

    " Interesting. Makes you rethink what 'GREEN' means. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle | 6/8/2013

    " Great book, interesting points and lots to think about. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 katie | 4/29/2013

    " couldn't finish this because it was making me feel too guilty for living in and having grown up in a rural "community".... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 5/16/2012

    " The book I actually read was "Green Metropolis: why living small..." 32086008491004 by same author. Creative approach to sustainablility and living on a postage stamp. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 2/12/2012

    " Loved this book. The author is one of my favorites, which is why I initially chose to read the book, but was thoroughly impressed with his perspective on "environmentalism." Completely changed my ideas about what it means to be green. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meg | 12/25/2011

    " Interesting and thought-provoking read. However, long on criticism, short on solutions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becca Van Tassell | 8/18/2011

    " Interesting argument about incentivizing green transportation by making life more difficult and undesirable for cars. Tends to get a little redundant, but good analysis overall. It made me want to move to New York. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Thomas Jordan | 6/23/2011

    " This is one of those books that has a good thesis, but could deliver the same impact with only a fraction of the text. This could have been a really good magazine article, but instead, it became just a ho-hum book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherri | 5/1/2011

    " Why urban living is better for the environment than the sprawl of suburbia.
    The author makes a terrific argument for city living and has encouraged me to be much more open-minded when it comes to environmental solutions and criticisms.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 4/7/2011

    " I've been thinking about this book a lot lately and I can't shut up about it. It really turns a lot of conventional "green" thinking on its head - everything from LEEDS certified buildings to urban farming to local food diets. Really worth a read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 3/12/2011

    " Well written, and for an inveterate walker currently living in a non-walkable neighborhood, a brilliant summary of the havoc the car and petroleum are wreaking on our world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 3/10/2011

    " Owen marshals environmental evidence to argue a convincing, common sense case against suburban living. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becca | 2/27/2011

    " Interesting argument about incentivizing green transportation by making life more difficult and undesirable for cars. Tends to get a little redundant, but good analysis overall. It made me want to move to New York. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucius Kwok | 2/12/2011

    " Interesting book which goes into the hypocrisy of calling yourself an environmentalist while living in the suburbs and driving a SUV, and the similar contradictions of LEED, greewashing, and "sustainability," whatever that means. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 1/29/2011

    " I knew I would enjoy this book because I already believe that urban living is more sustainable and energy efficient. But, I found it REALLY annoying to be told that by someone who lives in a suburban / rural area and drives places that are a mile away. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gregsmada | 12/14/2010

    " Interesting. Makes you rethink what 'GREEN' means. "

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About the Author

David Owen is a staff writer for the New Yorker and a contributing editor to Golf Digest. He is the author of several books, including The First National Bank of Dad, The Chosen One, My Usual Game, and The Making of the Masters. He and his family live in Northwest Connecticut.

About the Narrator

Patrick Lawlor, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and Audie Award finalist, is also an accomplished stage actor, director, and combat choreographer. He has worked extensively off Broadway and has been an actor and stuntman in both film and television.