The promise of greener homes and cities

Building cities that are both denser and more ecofriendly would have major benefits for our planet.


Cities need to be the spaces where we need to focus on decarbonizing quickly, according to a recent international climate report. However, as many note, carbon energy is part of our way of life, and that presents challenges in the United States’ effort to reach its climate goals.

As part of Earth Week, Detroit Today spoke with an urbanist and architect seeking policies to make our cities and homes carbon neutral. In this segment, we’re taking a look at different homes, buildings and city infrastructures that are both cool to look at, and emit little carbon.

“In Europe, there’s a really big push for retrofitting and building new social housing.” — Michael Eliason, Larch Lab

Listen: What carbon-zero homes and cities can look like in America.



Michael Eliason is the founder of Larch Lab, an architecture and urbanist studio, and think tank. He wrote a piece in the Volts Substack, titled, “The 5 coolest trends in urbanism in Europe.”

Eliason says different European countries offer subsidies for low carbon buildings, while also having mandates for those who want to build infrastructure that emits a lot of carbon.

“In Europe, there’s a really big push for retrofitting and building new social housing or alternative, non-market forms of housing like cooperatives, co-housing, (and) rental syndicates,” says Eliason.

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

Donate today »


  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.