Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ranking Green Cities

Popular Science magazine ranks the
greenest cities in the US
and, not surprisingly, cities in the Northwest do very well. If you tool around the Web awhile, you'll see scads of environmental bloggers from the upper left hand of the map; not so many on the East Coast.
1. Portland, Ore.
2. San Francisco, Calif.
3. Boston, Mass.
4. Oakland, Calif.
5. Eugene, Ore.
6. Cambridge, Mass.
7. Berkeley, Calif.
8. Seattle, Wash.
9. Chicago, Ill.
10. Austin, Tex.

Syracuse comes in at 17; New York City at 20.

PopSci explains:

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.

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