The 50 Greenest Cities in the U.S.

Sure, it’s yet another green city list, but we try to cover ones that have something to add. The last one we covered, Best Green Cities in America, provided a top ten ranking of smaller cities that seemed to best measure green consciousness per capita.

This list, Popular Science’s (U.S.) America’s 50 Greenest Cities covers cities with populations over 100,000 using the following green criteria:

Electricity from renewable energy – 10 points.
Transportation regarding mass transit or carpool; air quality – 10 points.
Green living via certified green buildings, public parks and nature preserves – 5 points.
Recycling and green perspective measured by city’s recycling program and level of citizen environmental concern – 5 points

Click here to see the full list of 50 with criteria scores, and here for a gallery of six technologies green cities are adopting. The top 25:

1. Portland, OR – 23.1 – The state of Oregon has had a significant green movement going for at least 30 years.
2. San Francisco, CA – 23.0
3. Boston, MA – 22.7
4. Oakland, CA – 22.5 – Former Mayor Jerry Brown (also former California governor) is one of the country’s leading green advocates.
5. Eugene, OR – 22.4 – Leader in Electricity (hydroelectric dams, wind farms, solar panels)
6. Cambridge, MA – 22.2 – MIT is a major green tech influence.
7. Berkeley, CA – 22.2 – University of Berkeley is easily one of the most progressive schools in the country (Pictured – the city’s commuters, and the city’s ‘tuning fork’).
8. Seattle, WA – 22.1 – Easily one of the most progressive cities in the U.S.
9. Chicago, IL – 21.3 – Leader in Green Space – thanks to Mayor Richard Daley.
10. Austin, TX – 21.0 – Home of the green building movement.
11. Minneapolis, MN – 20.3
12. St. Paul, MN – 20.2
13. Sunnyvale, CA – 19.9
14. Honolulu, HI – 19.9
15. Fort Worth, TX – 19.7
16. Albuquerque, NM – 19.1
17. Syracuse, NY – 18.9 – Manifesting through the upcoming Gear Factory for green creatives…
18. Huntsville, AL – 18.4
19. Denver, CO – 18.2
20. New York, NY – 18.2 – Leader in Transportation – No surprise given that only half the population even has drivers’ licenses.
21. Irvine, CA – 18.1
22. Milwaukee, Wis. 17.3
23. Santa Rosa, Calif. 17.2
24. Ann Arbor, Mich. 17.2
25. Lexington, Ky. 16.8 – Leader in Recycling and green perspective – No citizenry ranks environmentalism higher.

Image source: Berkeley’s Constitution Square by Lori B_.