Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have done it. Using science, they've confirmed your deepest suspicion: Southlake really is the worst.
In this case, it's not the exceptionally high number of traffic tickets they hand out. It's the exceptionally large amount of carbon dioxide (90.8 tons) the average Southlaker belches into the atmosphere every year.
Probably, some other exurb somewhere tops that, but you'll be hard pressed to find it on the UC Berkeley researchers' interactive map, which is broken down by ZIP code. In North Texas, its closest competitors are Colleyville (83.3 tons of CO2 per person per year); Flower Mound (80.5); Sunnyvale (77.5); Argyle (74.2); Allen (72.1); Plano (71) and Lewisville (70.7).
The data supports the scientists' argument, which is that suburbanization "undermines greenhouse gas benefits of urban population density." In North Texas, it also suggests that affluence and per-capita energy consumption are linked. On the map, the Park Cities represent a splotch of red on mostly green Dallas. And the more prosperous northern suburbs are a brighter shade than those to the south.
This makes intuitive sense. The further-flung the exurb, the more driving it takes to get things done. (Good luck finding public transportation in Southlake). Similarly, it takes a lot more energy to run an eight-room Highland Park mansion than an efficiency apartment in South Dallas which, with 34.7 tons of carbon dioxide produced per person per year, is Dallas' most efficient neighborhood.
(h/t Patrick Kennedy)
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.
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