Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Air Quality

California Sues Municipalities for Bad Urban Planning

sprawl.jpg

USA Today reports on a new development in the fight against climate change:

California is pioneering what could be the next battleground against global warming: filing suit to hold cities and counties accountable for greenhouse gas emissions caused by poorly planned suburban sprawl.

The unprecedented action is being closely watched by states that have taken aggressive steps to combat climate change - including New York, Massachusetts and Washington. California Attorney General Jerry Brown has sued San Bernardino County, the USA's largest in land area and one of the fastest growing, for failing to account for greenhouse gases when updating its 25-year blueprint for growth.

"It's ground-breaking. California is just leading the way for other states and jurisdictions that will ultimately follow," says Richard Frank of the Center for Environmental Law and Policy at the University of California-Berkeley.

In New York, global warming is one of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's "top priorities," says spokesman Jeffrey Lerner. "He's very focused on it. He feels like we need to do everything we can to address that issue right away."

If the suit is successful, California cities and counties could be forced to take steps to limit sprawl, promote compact development, require builders to design energy-efficient houses that offer solar power, and encourage less driving, more mass transit and use of alternative fuels.


Photo: Dale Hameister/Flickr

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Tuesday’s Headlines Fix It First

How voters incentivize politicians to ignore infrastructure upkeep. Plus, are hydrogen trains the future of rail or a shiny distraction?

April 23, 2024

The Brake: Why We Can’t End Violence on Transit With More Police

Are more cops the answer to violence against transit workers, or is it only driving societal tensions that make attacks more frequent?

April 23, 2024

Justice Dept., Citing Streetsblog Reporting, Threatens to Sue NYPD Over Cops’ Sidewalk Parking

The city is now facing a major civil rights suit from the Biden Administration if it doesn't eliminate illegal parking by cops and other city workers.

April 22, 2024

Five Car Culture Euphemisms We Need To Stop Using

How does everyday language hide the real impact of building a world that functionally requires everyone to drive?

April 22, 2024
See all posts