Blog Urban Environmentalists LA co-publishes white paper on infill housing and climate change

A new white paper argues that increasing urban density through multifamily housing can significantly reduce carbon emissions, protect native biodiversity, improve air quality, and create more sustainable, equitable communities.

June 18, 2024

Housing for Climate White Paper Cover

Urban Environmentalists has partnered with Los Angeles climate and housing advocates to emphasize the critical intersection of housing and climate policy. We are co-hosting a white paper launch event on Saturday, June 22; visit our event page for more information.

Executive summary

Housing for climate: a straightforward solution to two major crises

We are facing a climate crisis. To address it, we should increase the stock of multifamily housing in urban areas. Increasing urban density and adding housing will not only reduce our emissions, but allow us to address the cost of living crisis in our cities. Advocates for climate action and advocates for housing can and must work together to tackle these intertwined crises.

Infill housing is one of the best tools that cities and counties have to fight climate change. Building compact, walkable, and transit-oriented housing greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions and prevents the low-density sprawl that destroys wild habitat. Denser multifamily is so environmentally effective that UC Berkeley's CoolClimate Network emphatically states that "infill housing is probably the single most impactful measure that cities could take to reduce emissions." Moreover, integrating high-performance design in these infill developments can further reduce both energy consumption and GHG emissions while improving comfort and health outcomes for residents.

To address both housing and the environment, we must change the way we use land and build housing.