Best Places to Live
Top 10 Green Cities
best places to live are based upon
criteria such as clean air and water, reliable public transportation,
green space and parks, renewable energy, farmer's markets, and
opportunities for community involvement; listed in alphabetical
to David Hawkins,director of the climate center at the Natural
Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C., "Austin is
important because it shows that a government body can take steps
within its own realm of control -- that this is a problem that can be
managed and that there are models that can work. If Austin's actions
cause other cities to ask, 'Why aren't we doing something like that?'
then this can have a much bigger effect." Why else is Austin
one of the best places to live?
of Whole Foods organic grocery store chain
Hall built with mostly recycled materials
to power 100% of its government buildings with renewable energy such
as solar or wind power by 2017
2020, each new home built will be required to be so energy efficient
as to be completely powered by a solar collection system on its roof
city council enacted the Green Building and Green Points Program
which encourages the use of sustainable remodeling and building
methods and technologies to conserve energy, water and other natural
resources. Here are some more reasons Boulder is one of our best
places to live:
42,000 acres of protected land around the city
of residents recycle
than 25% of residents regularly bike to work/school
trails, fishing holes, picnic areas and rock-climbing within biking
of the reasons Burlington is one of our best
places to live is the Vermont Weatherization Program, which
provides free weatherization assistance to residents (whether or not
they own the property in which they reside) who earn 60% or less of
the state median income.
walk to work, 4.6% work from home and 12.3% carpool
farmers' markets, three food co-ops and 5 organic producers
compost facility uses scraps from grocery stores, restaurants and
food producers to create compost which is then sold to farmers and
of eco-friendly household product manufacturer Seventh Generation
Second City is one of our best places to live.
There are over four million square feet of rooftop gardens in
Chicago. The garden insulates the building and conserves energy,
making it cash positive,” says David Yocca, who designed Chicago'
City Hall's rooftop garden.
Park is comprised of 24 acres of open space and art
headquarters has solar panels and a sustainability center
panels collect energy along Chicago's tollways
headquarters boasts wind and solar panels as well as a “clean”
founder of Earth Day, Senator and former governor Gaylord Nelson,
called the state capitol home. The birthplace of Earth Day makes it
on our list of best places to live.
city in the US to offer curbside recycling
bikes for every car and over 100 miles of bike paths
acres of lakes and 6,000 acres of parkland
was named one of the top business districts in the nation by the
Environmental Protection Agency.
parking for registered van and car pools
of downtown workers use public or alternative transportation
paths, bike lanes and employer-sponsored showers and locker rooms
than 200,000 trees
New York, New York
York's subway system is famous and infamous. In addition buses,
hybrid cabs, pedicabs, and bike rentals are readily available
York residents place less pressure on their environmental
surroundings and use less resources than any other similarly-sized
Park contains 24,000 trees, 150 acres of lakes and streams, 130
acres of woodlands, and 21 playgrounds within its 1300 acres
Market Federation of New York's mission is “to support and promote
the viability of farmers' markets through innovative services,
programs and partnerships that maximize the benefits of markets to
sellers, buyers and communities.
Green, New York City's leading advocate for urban sustainability,
provides educational programming for the green building community
of Portland's power comes from renewable sources, a quarter of the
workforce commutes by bike, carpool or public transportation, and it
has 35 buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, making
it one of our best places to live.
voted for a bond measure to acquire and protect more than 8,100
acres of ecologically valuable natural areas
Park is the largest wilderness park within city limits in the United
States at over 5,000 acres
Ends Park is the nation's smallest park – approximately 2 feet in
Portland Saturday Market is open every weekend from March through
Christmas and is the nation's largest outdoor arts and crafts market
San Francisco, California
Francisco's water, fed down the Sierra Nevada mountain range, is so
clean that it doesn't have to be filtered. The gravity fed system
also generates clean hydropower that runs San Francisco's famous
cable cars, lights municipal buildings and city streets.
stores and chain pharmacies are banned from using disposable plastic
are required to separate garbage – recyclables in a blue bin and
compostables in a green bin – and a whopping 80% of the city's
garbage is either recycled or composted
to a Sierra Club study, Stanford is among the country's top 10
greenest colleges and universities
Francisco has a slew of transportation methods for residents to get
around town using clean technology, including electric vehicle
options like City
Car Share, Zipcar,
Santa Monica, California
Monica's Mission Statement is, “as a community, we can live well
today without compromising the ability of future generations to do
Wheel , located at Pacific Park on the pier, is the world's first
solar-powered Ferris Wheel
Monica has more than 420 acres of public open space , hosting
sporting facilities, swimming pools, tennis courts and lawn bowling
Monica has four renowned Farmers' Markets, an array of Organic Food
Stores and Organic Dining
run-off is reclaimed from storm drains, filtered and treated, then
used in irrigation and for toilet flushing
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