In Manhattan with David Owen

Thanks to an invitation from the Christopher Reeve Foundation and the support of the Rick Hansen Institute Lynn and I headed out to Manhattan with a copy of David Owen’s new book Green Metropolis in hand. The Reeve Gala was spectacular thanks to Henry Stifel, Vice President of both the Christopher Reeve Foundation and Morgan Stanley Bank. It is not often we get to chat with Meryl Streep and get our picture in the New York Times.

After I had finished my duties we explored the streets of Manhattan and the ideas of David Owen. Owen is a staff writer with the New Yorker Magazine who scandalized many environmentalists by stating that the most environmentally sustainable place in North America is New York City. This is counter-intuitive to most people and it is only when you actually measure the real impact of people on the planet that you realize he is right. By every measure of environmental Impact per capita New Yorkers do less damage to the planet than anyone else on the continent — and by a long shot. It is not because they are more environmentally concerned that the rest of us. They are famous for being concerned with commerce, free-market and making money. I rather doubt New Yorkers spend much time at all worrying about the planet. There is only one reason they far exceed the rest of us in environmental stewardship and that is high density.