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California seeks to make its low-carbon living more affordable

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Moving to a city is one of the best ways to shrink your carbon emissions: Apartments are more energy efficient than single-family homes, and public transportation works better in urban areas. But many of the most environmentally friendly cities in America have closed their doors to newcomers with regulations that make new housing expensive, and leave neighborhoods racially and economically segregated.

All of this is especially true in California, where mild weather and ambitious climate policies allow residents to live lightly — but only if they can afford the sky-high cost of housing. On Friday, however, California got a trio of new laws that will cut away some of that red tape and allow more homes to be built. Denser cities should shorten commutes, lower emissions, and make for more equitable housing.

Though the laws won't make housing affordable on their own, together they strike a significant blow against efforts with zoning rules to keep cities rich and white, said David Garcia, policy director at The Terner Center for Housing........

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