Although there is not a clear criterion that measures the greenness of a particular city, some factors certainly help deduce the city’s carbon footprint reduction. Some of these factors include amount of land dedicated for green space, number of LEED certified buildings, renewable energy sources, management and recycling of waste and easier access to greener products and services. Keeping all these factors in mind, here are 5 of the greenest cities in the US from which others would need to take a note.
With an aim to become carbon neutral by the year 2020, Austin happens to be top seller of renewable energy in the country. The city has over 850 utility sponsored programs that provide clean energy. Austin also has over 206 parks, 50 miles of trails, 26 greenbelts and 12 preserves aimed at making the city a greener place to live.
Residents in this city are actually encouraged to become more sustainable by installing solar panels on their homes via a city-driven incentive program. Most of buildings in the city are LEED certified. Seattle also organizes frequent workshops on how to live sustainably at the Sustainable Ballard, a green neighborhood.
Cambridge earned the title of the ‘Best Walking City’ by the Prevention Magazine in 2008. The city put into effort a climate protection plan in 2002, which has had a nationwide impact on green living. Most of the vehicles in the city are fueled by electricity or B20 biodiesel. All constructions and renovations must be LEED certified to proceed. The city also runs a ‘Compost that Stuff’ project that aims to collect and process organic waste from restaurants, bars, hotels and homes.
Also called as the Emerald City, Eugene has been into greener living from early 60s. The city has over 29 dedicated bike routes and 30 miles of bike paths for residents. This is coupled with over 150 miles of smog free area for travel in the city. Eugene’s Emerald Express (hybrid public transit system) also won the Sustainable Transport Award in 2008.
With over 200 miles of dedicated bike paths, Portland continues to hold the distinction of being the most bike friendly city in the entire nation. The city is also considered No. 1 in sustainability and encourages its citizens to opt for sustainable food sources by holding classes related to the same, including beekeeping, cheese making, chicken farming and container gardening etc.
Here are some of the greenest cities you can come across in the US. Other cities around the world should definitely look towards these cities as perfect examples for sustainable living. They should also follow their footsteps to create a more sustainable, greener world for everyone.