Top 10 Greenest U.S. Cities

Many cities across the United States, both small and large, are vigorously pursuing the implementation of environmentally friendly practices, laws and bylaws. In 2006, National Geographic in conjunction with their online affiliate TheGreenGuide.com, using very specific and exhaustive criteria such as; Air Quality, Electricity Use and Production, Environmental Perspective, Environmental Policy, Green Design, Green Space, Public Health, Recycling, Socioeconomic Factors, Transportation & Water Quality (for detailed information on criteria visit www.thegreenguide.com/doc/113/top10cities), compiled the list of the Top 25 “Greenest” cities in America, specifically honoring those cities ranking in the Top 10. Surveys went to Mayors’ offices in all 251 metropolitan areas with populations of 100,000 or more. Scoring survey responses in combination with information from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and other independent sources, they determined the rankings.

These cities are cited as being environmental leaders, cities whose “green” standards have raised the bar for the rest of the country by providing citizens with the most energy-efficient, least polluted and healthiest living spaces possible. In the absence of Federal guidance or specified mandates, each locality has taken matters into their own hands. In fact, on March 28th, 2006, 220 Mayors across the country signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which now covers urban areas housing 43.8 million Americans. The goal? Reduce greenhouse emissions, implement and enforce environmentally friendly programs i.e. recycling and to educate the public on “how to be green.”

The Green Guide’s Top 10 Green Cities @ a Glance

1. Eugene, OR
(score 9.0375, pop. 137,893)

2. Austin, TX
(score 8.5325, pop. 656,562)

3. Portland, OR
(score 8.24, pop. 529,121)

4. St. Paul, MN
(score 7.805, pop. 287,151)

5. Santa Rosa, CA
(score 7.785, pop. 147,595)

6. Oakland, CA
(score 7.3675, pop. 399,484)

7. Berkeley, CA
(score 7.285, pop. 102,743)

8. Honolulu, HI
(score 7.055, pop. 371,657)

9. Huntsville, AL
(score 7.035, pop. 158,216)

10. Denver, CO
(score 7.0325, pop. 554,636)

If you would like a more detailed and in depth description of each city in the Top 10, including how and why they ranked where they did, visit www.thegreenguide.com/doc/113/top10cities.