As climate change threatens to make life on earth unbearable, most of us recognize that our society must reduce its dependency on fossil fuels. Auto-mobile use is one of the greatest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. To reduce emissions, we must stop driving so much. But how?

More than half of all Americans live in sprawling suburbs, a built environment that forces them to own cars in order to function. For thousands of years of human settlement, the functions of daily life were clustered together in one place, accessible by foot or animal-drawn wheels. Later, as cities developed, people could live in apartments above shops, or down the block from them, to meet most of their daily needs. But after World War II, for many social, cultural, psychological, and economic reasons, the United States initiated a radical departure from this settlement pattern, creating an...

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