If California has any hope of becoming a low-carbon economy, it must starting thinking urban rather than suburban. And that's what the city of Newark voted to do, in approving a "trend setting" pedestrian community.

The city will convert 200 acres of vacant industrial land, largely  owned by chemical companies, into a model sustainable residential development.

The plan is for 2500 townhouses and apartments that will be walking distance from stores and schools. A reconstructed rail line will deliver commuters to Silicon Valley. 

"The way we developed in the last few decades is definitely not sustainable," Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments, the largest metropolitan planning organization in the country, told Reuters.

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