Greenest Cities in the US in 2015

December 10, 2015

 

Greenest Cities in the US

WalletHub analysts recently released their list of the greenest cities in the US, based on their study of 100 cities across the nation. Cities were measured on thirteen key metrics across four dimensions: 1) Environmental Quality, 2) “Greenness” of Transportation, 3) “Greenness” of Energy Sources and 4) Green Lifestyle & Local Policies.

Here are the metrics they used in each category:

Environmental Quality – Total Points: 40

  • Median Air Quality Index: Full Weight (~10 Points)
  • Greenhouse-Gas Emissions per Capita: Full Weight (~10 Points)
  • Green Space (percentage of parkland): Full Weight (~10 Points)
  • Water Quality: Full Weight (~10 Points)

“Greenness” of Transportation – Total Points: 25

  • Percentage of Commuters Who Drive (not carpooling, not walking, not taking public transit and not biking): Double Weight (~10 Points)
  • Bike Score: Full Weight (~5 Points)
  • Walk Score: Full Weight (~5 Points)
  • Annual Excess Fuel Consumed (measures gallons per auto commuter; used as a proxy for “congestion level”): Full Weight (~5 Points)

“Greenness” of Energy Sources – Total Points: 20

  • Percentage of Electricity from Renewable Sources: Full Weight (~10 Points)
  • Number of Smart-Energy Policies & Initiatives: Full Weight (~10 Points)

Green Lifestyle & Local Policies – Total Points: 15

  • Number of Farmers Markets per Capita (by the square root of the population): Full Weight (~6 Points)
  • Green Jobs (percentage of the Green Goods and Services Sector (GGS) employment compared with total employment): Half Weight (~3 Points)
  • Number of Local Programs for Promoting the Use of Green Energy: Full Weight (~6 Points)

Top 5 and Bottom 5

1 – New York, NY

2 – Portland, OR

3 – San Francisco, CA

4 – Washington, DC

5 – Honolulu, HI

96 – Hialeah, FL

97 – Louisville, KY

98 – Indianapolis, IN

99 – Gilbert, AZ

100 – Baton Rouge, LA

The data used to create these rankings was obtained from the US Census Bureau, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Trust for Public Land, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the NC Clean Energy Technology Center, the Environmental Working Group, Walk Score and Yelp.

Source: WalletHub


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Dawn Killough

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon.  
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