City life is practical. The distances are short and you can get almost everything close by. Many city residents however dream of owning a home in the green or outside the hectic city. But where is it more environmentally friendly to live?
The consequences of rural life
An average single-family house robs nature easily around 100 square meters of land. At first glance, that doesn’t seem like much. But where new settlements arise, new roads, schools, supermarkets, and so on are needed. Every kilometer of road, canal, water pipe, and power line has to be maintained and thus rural life also costs the state and taxpayers huge amounts of money. Those who want to be mobile in the rural surroundings of a city are mostly dependent on the car because jobs are often in the city and distances, in general, are longer. Besides, public transport in rural areas is usually not very well developed.
Even if you look at the heating of the buildings, you need a lot more energy in a detached house than in a city apartment with the same living space. The reason is that in multi-story residential buildings, the residents below you, above you, or next to you also heat and thus heat your apartment as well, as heat passes through the walls. Your apartment would also heat the neighboring apartments. In a single house, heat is lost in all directions. Of course, this only matters if you live in cooler climates.
The city is more environmentally friendly
From a nature perspective, it would be better if we simply lived in the city in space-saving multi-story buildings. That saves land and energy. For example, if you look at a five-story building with a floor space of 200 square meters and 5 residents living on each floor, that results in a total of 25 residents. So everyone needs mathematically just 8 square meters of land. The resident of a single-family house easily needs four times as much.
Besides, you can get around the city in an environmentally friendly way by public transport, by bike or on foot. Car-sharing offers are also widespread in many places if you need a car occasionally. In rural areas, many families own several cars for their commutes. What hardly anyone thinks about is the carbon dioxide released during the production of a car. The fewer cars produced and needed, the better. The city has other advantages as well, such as the broader educational offer.
But there are not only advantages
I would not see the higher rents as a major disadvantage, because the aforementioned points also save you a lot of money. The real rush into the cities leads to a population decline in the rural areas. Those who are left drive their cars even more. The fewer people live in a place, the more uneconomical it gets for many business areas. It seems to be a vicious circle. Because living in the city is less damaging to the environment. But if more and more people go to cities, it also harms the environment, because those who remain in the rural areas then damage the environment even more.
In the end, city life is still the greener way to live, as the benefits of it far outweigh the disadvantages.
Whether you still want to move to the country despite this is up to you, because if you ignore the environmental aspect, rural life also has its advantages of a different kind.
Are you more of a city or country person?