The Green Gate
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Urban Living Overview

If you think that it has gotten more crowded when you run along the San Francisco Marina or hike up Mount Tamalpais, you're right. The Bay Area population grew by more than three-quarters of a million people from 1990 to 2000, and our increased population is taking a steady toll on the environment. NRDC researchers identified five indicators to gauge the stress on the environment caused by day-to-day urban life. Not all the news is sobering: in some areas, such as transit use, we have made real improvement. Overall, however, the Bay Area is suffering from the strains imposed by humans.

  • Bay Area population increased by 12.6 percent from 1990 to 2000.

  • Sprawl threatens half a million acres of the Bay Area's open space and agricultural land.

  • The amount of garbage Bay Area residents generate is increasing: on average, each resident generated almost two pounds of garbage per day in 1999, while the average employee generated almost eight pounds per day.

On the positive side:

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