Short commute, small footprint

capital_region_municipalities_household_greenhouse_gas_footprint.png

Among the benefits to living near the Capital Region's urban core: on average, your household probably will have a lower greenhouse gas footprint.

The above map caught our eye while we were flipping through the docs for that Capital District Transportation Committee draft plan for the area's transportation future. It depicts the estimated average greenhouse gas footprint -- for both transportation and household use -- for households in each municipality. (After the jump, we've also clipped the map that depicts estimated greenhouse gas footprints just for transportation.)

The map is probably what you'd expect -- if a municipality, like the city of Albany, hosts a lot of jobs then its residents are more likely to not have to commute far, and as a result, won't have as large a greenhouse gas footprint. (And you'd probably expect the inverse, too.) In fact, that map matches up pretty well with maps for both daytime population swing and average commute time in the region.

We were curious about the estimates behind the map, so we dug out a Capital District Regional Planning
Commission report about a regional greenhouse gas inventory
. The estimates are explained on p. 19. And the report also includes more, and larger, maps on the topic.

One highlight from those additional maps: An estimate of energy costs by municipality (p. 23). The difference between the low and high end is about $8,500 per year.

Estimated average household greenhouse gas footprint, transportation

capital_region_municipalities_household_greenhouse_gas_footprint_transportation.png

One quick thing about this map: You might notice that the city of Schenectady register a relatively larger footprint on the transportation map than the domestic energy use + transportation map. One possible reason: Even though Schenectady is one of the region's urban cores, it doesn't have people who both live and work in the municipality at a rate as a large as, say, Albany or Saratoga Springs. (Though, those estimates are years old as this point, and things are changing in Schenectady -- so maybe that's changing, too.)

both maps: Capital District Regional Planning Council, via CDTC

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Nothing says 'take me seriously' like using the typeface Comic Sans in a scientific infographic.

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