Broad support for Smart Growth to address climate change

New Urban Network

Despite the picture presented by political pundits from practically every news organization from Fox News to NPR, most Americans believe that climate change and global warming should be a national priority, regardless of their political alignment.

Furthermore, according to a Yale University survey, support is broad among Americans for land use and

Courtesy of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

transportation policies that address greenhouse gas emissions. Out of the 1,010 respondents, 80 percent favor more public transportation, 77 percent support the implementation of bike lanes, and 56 percent support reducing suburban sprawl and encouraging infill development in downtowns. Respondents also overwhelmingly favor the development of clean energy sources by more than 9-to-1.

The recent survey, from the Project on Climate Change Communication at Yale University (downloable pdf here), has found that 71 percent of Americans feel climate change should be a federal priority, with 13 percent considering it a “very high” priority, 27 percent marking it as “high” and 31 percent “medium.”

While these priority figures may seem higher than one might expect, public prioritization on global warming has been in decline since 2008, when Yale first began its poll. Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale Project on Climate Change, told the DC Streetsblog that this is mainly due to the public’s increased concern about the economy. “People are much more worried about losing their job or their house,” he said. “The threat of climate change just can’t compare.”

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