Last year, Tim De Chant published a map showing how much land the globe’s 7 billion people would require if they were as densely housed as the residents of various cities. Now he’s done a similar job mapping the ecological footprints of countries across the world. He compares the two projects:
Cities’ land requirements far outstrip their immediate physical footprints. They include everything from farmland to transportation networks to forests and open space that recharge fresh water sources like rivers and aquifers. And more. Just looking at a city’s geographic extents ignores its more important ecological footprint. How much land would we really need if everyone lived like New Yorkers versus Houstonians? It turns out that question is maddeningly difficult to answer. While some cities track resource use, most don’t. … But what we can do is compare different countries and how many resources their people—and their lifestyles—use. For countries, the differences are far, far greater than for cities.
The full chart is below:
Via Andrew Sullivan.