Preserving the Environment

Which Cities Are Working the Hardest to Save the Planet?

October 3, 2014
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Which Cities Are Working the Hardest to Save the Planet?
San Francisco is one of the greenest cities in the U.S. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
These urban areas are leading the pack in green innovation.

With more green space and lower greenhouse gas emissions, cities nationwide are striving to become leaders and innovators in the environmental movement.

Recently, the International Business Times decided to take a look at the cities leading the pack, and while the publication didn’t use exact science, it examined criterion such as carbon footprint, LEED certified buildings (LEED stands for leadership in energy and environmental design) and green space, among others to find the top 10 eco-friendly cities in the U.S.

Among their findings (in no particular order):

SAN FRANCISCO
Not only is it the first city to ban plastic grocery bags, but it also has a curbside compost pick-up program, among numerous other eco-friendly projects.

SEATTLE
This rainy town is a leader in green space with seven parks per 10,000 residents. It also has over 20 buildings that are LEED certified or are being built with the intention of being designated as such.

PORTLAND, ORE.
In addition to building a well-structured mass transit system, Portland has taken the bike craze to a new level. It also boasts loads of green space, a strong recycling program and its carbon emissions per capita rank it in the lowest 20 percent of U.S. cities.

CHICAGO
The Windy City is home to the most buildings with green roofs, which not only help to control temperature by heating and cooling the inside, but they also improve air quality – which isn’t a bad asset for any urban area.

BURLINGTON, VT.
With a third of its energy coming from hydroelectric dams, another third from wind energy and the final third from biomass renewal, this northeast city of 42,000 people just began the first city to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

While this is just a small sampling of what this country is doing to go green, it demonstrates how cities are working to be more environmentally conscious all the time. To find out the remainder of the top 10, click here.

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