near half the cities in top ten are in the northeast1 New York
3 San Francisco
11 Washington DC
16 New Orleans
18 Long Beach
19 Los Angeles
23 Colorado Springs
28 Las Vegas
31 El Paso
32 San Antonio
33 San Jose
36 San Diego
39 Kansas City
43 Arlington, TX
46 Virginia Beach
48 Fort Worth
50 Oklahoma City
This is a Tale of Two Types of Cities.
One type of city has a dense, walkable center with cultural attractions, jobs, farmers markets, and residential neighborhoods easily accessible by foot, bike, or public transit. The other type has lower density, a poorly or undefined center, separate centers of business and residential life, and is generally only accessible by car.
We compared these two fundamental types of cities’ underlying infrastructure, food and mobility as part of an economic competitiveness analysis. With gas prices on the rise and $3 or $4 a gallon gas on the horizon, SustainLane.com took a close look at the 50 largest U.S. cities to see which are most prepared and which are most vulnerable to an extended gas price shock in the $3 to $8 dollar a gallon range. Those cities that can reduce or stabilize their spending on gasoline will keep substantially more money in their state’s economy, rather than siphoning it overseas.
How the Index was Created
SustainLane analyzed commute trend data within major cities--how many people rode, drove, carpooled, walked, or biked to work. Then we looked at how much people rode public transit in the general metro area, and metro area road congestion. Sprawl, local food, and wireless connectivity made up our final areas of data analysis (see chart below for weighting of these criteria). The index did not take into consideration energy impacts associated with heating or electricity, which would be largely dependent on non-oil energy sources, such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy. Only one U.S. city in our study, Boston, uses a significant amount of heating oil. For this reason Boston, ranked #2, gets an asterisk: if heating oil usage were used as a criteria its rank would be somewhat lower.
SustainLane’s index measures the major elements cities have in place to best deal with an oil crisis. To be clear, an oil crisis will negatively impact all U.S. cities, as our nation is dependent on oil-based infrastructure for everything from food to retail, to the manufacturing and service sectors. Significant inflation will undoubtedly occur during an oil crisis. Many of those negative impacts cannot be easily anticipated or evenly modeled across the nation. We are confident that the data sets we used—mobility, infrastructure, development patterns, local food indicators and telecommunications capabilities—provide a consistent model for further analysis, discussion, and action.
The Most Vulnerable Cities
While the top ten cities in the list SustainLane released in late March are more likely to fare better in the event of $100 a barrel oil, the cities that are the most vulnerable typically fit a general profile opposite that of New York City, the #1 most-prepared city. In New York, 53 percent of the population takes a subway, train, or bus to work; almost ten percent of the city walks or rides a bicycle to get to work (2004 data); and commuters living outside the city are the nation’s most habitual users of public transit.
Sun Belt or land-locked cities that developed largely during the suburban boom of the 1960s and 1970s, when car ownership and sprawl development patterns began to proliferate, are the American cities most vulnerable to an oil crisis. Oklahoma City, where 85 percent of the population drives by themselves to work everyday, came out at #50, making it the most likely to be adversely impacted by an oil crisis. Close behind were Louisville, Kentucky; Fort Worth, Texas; and Indianapolis, Indiana.
All of the 10 most-vulnerable cities, with the exception of Virginia Beach, Virginia (#46) and Memphis, Tennessee (#44), are landlocked. People who live and work in these cities currently have few alternatives to driving, with less than five percent commuting to work on public transit. Bicycle commuting or walking to work in these cities occurred at rates under two percent (Tulsa was a minor exception with almost three percent that walked or biked to work). These cities’ complete dependence on oil goes beyond local mobility. Goods transported to these locations from overseas ports have to be trucked on oil-comprised tires, manufactured with more than seven gallons of oil each, over great distances of oil-based asphalt.
Dearth of Local Produce
Local produce is particularly hard to come by in the cities at the bottom of the ranking. Arlington, for example, has zero farmers markets, and Dallas just one per 1.2 million in population. Unless these cities add farmers markets, local residents will have no alternative to supermarket produce trucked in from further a field that will likely be much more expensive.
continue article: http://www.sustainlane.com/article/747/U.S.+Cities'+Preparedness+for+an+Oil+Crisis.html
disagreements? thoughts?... i figure i would put in to change some subjects around this thread.