Alex Steffen

Alex Steffen (@AlexSteffen on Twitter) writes and speaks about humanity's future on the Earth. He co-founded Worldchanging and edited the book Worldchanging: A user's guide for the 21st century. His latest project is Planetary.

There’s still time if you act now: ‘Carbon Zero,’ conclusion

Carbon zero cities aren't a utopian ideal. It may be late in the climate game, but there's still so much we can do. Let's get started!

Big-city problems, small-farm solutions: ‘Carbon Zero,’ chapter 6

Reorganizing our food system provides an opportunity to ratchet down our cities' carbon emissions while also reconnecting them to the natural world.

Drawbacks of the digital city: ‘Carbon Zero,’ sidebar 3

If we want technology to be a force for good, here are a few things we should keep in mind before we weave it into every element of our carbon-zero cities.

Share and share alike: ‘Carbon Zero,’ chapter 5

In a carbon zero city, you wouldn't need to own a car -- or even a power drill. Redirecting the stuff we don't use into sharing economies can rewire consumption and save tons of carbon on the way.

Green house

If we build it right, they (emissions) will come (down): ‘Carbon Zero,’ chapter 4

The key to carbon zero cities lies not in retrofitting old structures, says Alex Steffen, but in optimizing the tons of new building we'll do over the next 20 years.


Move a little closer, please: ‘Carbon Zero,’ chapter 3

The key to climate salvation lies in making our cities denser. Alex Steffen explains why smart "walksheds" pave the way to lower emissions.

People-focused places and fairer cities: ‘Carbon Zero,’ sidebar 2

People-focused density provides a disproportionate benefit for low-income people. In fact, good city design can be part of what gets people out of poverty. Compact development means increasing the supply of housing. Even if the new homes are being built …

Why clean energy isn’t enough: ‘Carbon Zero,’ chapter 2

To "zero out" our emissions with clean energy, we'd have to replace all the dirty sources we use now -- and do it all over again in 40 years. In chapter 2 of "Carbon Zero," Alex Steffen explains why we …

Consumption-based footprinting: ‘Carbon Zero,’ sidebar 1

How, where and when we measure our carbon footprint makes a huge difference in what results we get.