How to Build a Better City

Think you're helping the environment by living in the suburbs rather than the city? Think again! Young scientists examine the effects of urban sprawl in a video that compares the environmental advantages of closely packed city life to the high energy consumption of the average suburban homeowner.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Send the class on a fact-finding mission at home, then compare energy consumption, found on electric and natural gas bills, for urban and suburban pupils
  • Examine urban sprawl for a few large metropolitan areas, then calculate commute time and fuel usage for suburban workers that travel to the city each day for work
Classroom Considerations
  • Before watching the video, talk for a moment with learners about the advantages and disadvantages of city living
  • The narrator discusses all aspects of suburban energy use, from commuting to lawn maintenance
  • Animations help convey the narrator's suggestions for maximizing efficient energy use in urban areas
  • None
Common Core