My brother forwarded me this link to the Popular Science Magazine website which compiled a list of the 50 greenest cities in the U.S.. While I was not surprised that Portland, OR came in at #1, I was surprised that Los Angeles did not finish second. I mean, come on – we have smog, traffic, lots of cement and barely any trees! What gives guys? Here is how they determined the rankings:
We used raw data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Geographic Society’s Green Guide, which collected survey data and government statistics for American cities of over 100,000 people in more than 30 categories, including air quality, electricity use and transportation habits. We then compiled these statistics into four broad categories, each scored out of either 5 or 10 possible points. The sum of these four scores determines a city’s place in the rankings. Our categories are:
- Electricity (E; 10 points): Cities score points for drawing their energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric power, as well as for offering incentives for residents to invest in their own power sources, like roof-mounted solar panels.
- Transportation (T; 10 points): High scores go to cities whose commuters take public transportation or carpool. Air quality also plays a role.
- Green living (G; 5 points): Cities earn points for the number of buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, as well as for devoting area to green space, such as public parks and nature preserves.
- Recycling and green perspective (R; 5 points): This measures how comprehensive a city’s recycling program is (if the city collects old electronics, for example) and how important its citizens consider environmental issues.
Anyway, if you are interested in seeing where your city ranks, check out the full list over at Popular Science.