As the Mayor of San Jose showed us, cities are becoming very eager to implement green practices, and they can act as the first line of defense for fighting climate change. So, what are the greenest cities over all? According to researchers at SustainLane this morning, Portland, Ore., is the tops, followed by San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and New York (check out their complete list of the 50 greenest cities).
SustainLane says the criteria includes issues such as air quality, clean energy, how residents commute to work, LEED buildings and green businesses. Portland has been working on a green vision since Oregon adopted a sweeping progressive land-use policy (PDF) in the early ’70s and is still working on getting all car trips — commute, home-to-store — to under 20 minutes, says SustainLane. The city’s focus on transit-oriented development, regional development, non-pipe stormwater management, successful redevelopment of the Pearl District, Recycle At Work program and Bicycle Master Plan are among the initiatives that have earned the city it’s green cred, and likely played a role in earning the SustainLane’s kudos.
The list is relatively unchanged since previous years, where Portland remained No. 1 and San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago filled in the rest of the top four stops. San Jose Mayor Reed can be happy to note that the city went up two in the rankings to 21, and New York, Boston and Minneapolis all moved up too. Oakland dropped several rankings, as did San Diego and Colorado Springs.