Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Group Says Smart Growth Could Benefit California's Economy

A new study says Californians could save billions of dollars and cut greenhouse gas emissions by working closer to home. The study looked at San Diego and three other areas.

The study says investments in smart growth and public transportation have economic and environmental benefits.

Smart growth is more town-centered, transit and pedestrian oriented and blends housing, commercial and retail together.

The four regions studied are San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay area.

Stuart Cohen is the executive director of TransForm, a coalition of unions and nonprofits which produced the study.

He says if all San Diego county residents lived in transit-friendly communities with good access to jobs and retail, the average household would spend about $3,500 less on transportation each year.

"People that are able to live in walkable communities, able to have shorter commutes and good transportation choices, spend a lot less money on transportation," said Cohen. "These same people are also emitting many, many fewer greenhouse gas emissions."

Cohen says the state should promote smart growth and provide more funding for public transit projects.