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Do we know if the per capita use in that study is just residential energy use or includes commercial?


I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that whether you look at living or working or both together that dense urban core is vastly more efficient than suburban sprawl. Sure, suburban sprawl affords more opportunity to generate renewable energy on site, but so what? You could use that space to generate renewable energy whether or not someone lives there, but by living sprawled out you make it impossible to walk to work, to the grocery, mass transit becomes impractical because the population is sparse, municipal services must cover vastly more territory, etc ...

Also, gasoline usage and electricial usage aren't the only green metrics.

Energy consumption is certainly a big one, especially when the context of the discussion is renewable energy and 'peak grid power'.

Where does Manhattan get its food and dump its trash?

Where does any typical American get their food or dump their trash? Not from or on their own real estate. Transport costs for food are pretty negligible, which is why so many people eat produce from California and Mexico even though they live on the East coast.


Plenty of people intentionally live outside the city (and state) and commute in (some via transit) but many by car via bridges and tunnels and buy all their gas elsewhere.

Yes, but spreading out the urban core into strip cities would not help matters, I don't think. While browsing on this subject I found that though NYC has the longest commute in the country by travel time, more than 30% of the commuters use mass transit, as opposed to less than 5% nationally.
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