The Greenest Cities – Where is Yours?

There might be several reasons for you considering a move to a greener city. Maybe it’s health reasons, or it could be simply because of the better lifestyle it offers. Whatever, your reason moving to a greener city can be a great bet for your present and your future. What makes a city green is its focus on sustainability efforts, for the present and into the future. Coincidentally, the more sustainable a city, the healthier it is to live in.

In this article we’re going to cover the top three greenest cities in the US and what makes them the most sustainable.

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon tops the list of almost any sustainability list out there. The city has long made sustainability a priority and today it shows. It’s an affordable city and it’s also very bike friendly. It’s names one of the most bike friendly cities in the US. It began its quest for sustainability over 30 years when it tore down a freeway to make room for a waterfront park.

Their priorities haven’t changed over the years. They have a variety of land protection programs which seek to protect over 25 million acres of farmland and forested areas. Aside from their public transportation programs they have one of the Nation’s largest parks within city limits, which spans over 70 miles.

Aside from the cloudy weather, this city would be a great start to a greener lifestyleGreenest Cities Index

San Francisco, California

San Francisco is larger than the other cities on this list and has more of a city feel, but it’s green initiatives offset this. For instance, it has amazing options for alternative travel. For instance, the offer buses, ferries, subways, carpool programs and bike trails. Over half of the cities large population uses these alternative forms of travel. They have a plethora of parks within the city limits, and also have good air quality due to the prevailing winds.

Aside from that they have extensive green building projects that are currently underway, and the city residents are in massive support of the growth of renewable energy, even opting to pay higher taxes to support such an initiative.

Austin, Texas

Not many people would associate Texas with sustainability, however this city is breaking the trend. As a goal the city plans on being completely carbon neutral by 2020, a massive feat in and of itself. Besides this goal the city has over 200 parks and 14 nature reserves, all spread throughout the city. They also have laws in play which prevent their natural watershed from development, and a recycling center that’s been in operation since 1970.

Any of these cities would be a great choice if you’re looking for a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. Whether it’s the sunshine of Austin, the city feel of San Francisco, or the laid-back lifestyle of Portland, all of these cities are pushing the sustainability lifestyle and agenda forward. If you’re looking for a green city to move to, then you might have found your match.


Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at The Grass Outlet, a Texas sod company. Zane thinks that Austin, Texas is pretty green.

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