By: Peter Daou on April 07, 2009 I’ve never owned a car and I’ve lived between Washington D.C. and Manhattan for most of my adult life. Before that I lived on organic farms in Lebanon. It’s interesting to read this and consider that there may be some ancillary benefits to living in a big city: Generally speaking, studies have shown that city dwellers, who frequent public transportation, occupy smaller-than-average and multiunit living spaces, use less energy to heat and cool, tend to have lower carbon footprints than their suburban or rural counterparts, who often have bigger homes, use more energy to heat and cool, and typically drive themselves to and fro. A 2008 report by the Brookings Institution, for example, found that the average American in a metropolitan area has a carbon footprint of 8.21 tons — 14 percent less than the average American living outside the city. The flip side is that lately, I’ve become more and more sensitive to the smell of exhaust in New York. In day to day city living, you rarely think about the smell of air, but when you do, it’s somewhat alarming to realize how much fouler it is than country air.