Live Dense or Die

An interesting point of departure from this graph that’s been making the rounds of the U.S. packed into one Brooklyn-style New Hampshire is one I’ve mentioned before, via the work of Brian Pijanowski:

If the percentage of parking lot area in the county (0.44%) is scaled to the area occupied by the conterminous United States, the entire states of Connecticut, and Massachusetts (12,550 + 20,305 = 32,855 km2 ) would be paved over with parking lots.

To put this another way: The American parking lot currently consumes much more space than the entire country’s population would if it were scaled to Brooklyn-style density.

Hello neighbor!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 at 6:19 pm and is filed under Etc.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

12 Responses to “Live Dense or Die”

  1. Pete Warnock Says:

    Life would be more homogeneous and boring as a result.

  2. Matt Says:

    How Many New Hampshires fit in Mass and Conn? That has to be a high ratio. Thanks for the post.

  3. Rob B. Says:

    More homogenous??? More boring? What’s more homogeneous than suburban sprawl living? And what’s more boring?

  4. francis Says:

    Life in a city of 300 million would be homogeneous and boring? ???

  5. Twinkz Says:

    Yay homogeneity! And if anybody wanted to nuke our a$$, they could do it one shot!

  6. Lyle Says:

    Yes, we could all live in New Hampshire. But the commute to go work on the farm in Nebraska would be hell.

  7. Scott Says:

    New Hampshire – 9350 sq mi
    Massachusetts – 10,555 sq mi
    Connecticut – 5543 sq mi
    (source: Wikipedia)

    (10555+5543)/9350 = 1.72

    So for every square mile of living space we need 1.72 square miles of parking space. Sad…

  8. Mark Says:

    Interesting…this seems to show, if nothing else, the dangers of raw numbers without rational thought. If we all lived in cities compressed into NH, where would we grow the organic corn and beans so necessary for life…how would we transport ourselves to the fields? Or, would we all live like chickens or pigs raised for slaughter in a confined space with just enough sustenance for reproduction? And, who would grow the sustenance? It’s easy and fun to do math…for example the high school physics calculations that put a battleship (if I recall correctly, which I doubt) into a volume the size of a basketball if all the atomic and molecular particles were completely compressed. In short, it’s pointless to consider the US population living in NH, simply because we couldn’t fit, and continue to live as we’ve grown accustomed to. With all due respect to Bryan C. Pijanowski, this is a meaningless and banal assessment, and typical of stupid and useless “science” being done today by tenured or non-tenured “scientists.” doing trivial studies in what should be futile attempts to justify their salaries. For example: the statement: “The intensity and spatial reach of contemporary human alterations of the Earth’s land surface are unprecedented” is based on what? That’s fundamentally an anti growth and capitalism statement…Certainly the clearing of Europe’s forests and massive burning of coal and wood in the 1500-1700 or 1800s had a huge impact on Europe, but little impact on the Americas. Were the purported asteroid impact in Russia in the early 1900’s or the purported extinction of the dinosaurs in prehistoric times less significant and therefore precedented circumstances? I don’t think so. When “scientists” make politicized statements like this they become as credible (not) as climate scientists. Be careful about propagandizing, it’s unbecoming and in the long term, stupid, especially without facts to back it up.

  9. Lyndell Says:

    Everything would be in walking distance, but you couldn’t drive to get there.

  10. Dan Says:

    @#8 – Geez, no one is saying that we should actually DO this! The point is that we can find ways to use our land more efficiently in order to reduce energy consumption.

  11. Megan Says:

    Seriously? No one who has ever been to Brooklyn would ever consider it “homogeneous and boring”.

  12. Leslie Says:

    The density issue is, to me, a simple one. I do not like living so close to other human beings. They make noise when I want silence. The closer they are, the more their noise makes it difficult for me to think. Making it more difficult for us to think seems unwise. Can you guarantee sound-proofing? Not today. No.

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