West Dominates Greenest Cities List

WalletHub weighed factors such as greenhouse gas emissions and farmers markets
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2021 5:00 PM CDT
West Dominates Greenest Cities List
Oakland's greenhouse gas emissions per capita ranked among the lowest.   (Getty/DianeBentleyRaymond)

WalletHub is out with its assessment of how the 100 largest US cities are doing on practicing green living. San Diego tops the list, edging out San Francisco. To rank the cities, the site took into account 28 factors, including greenhouse gas emissions per capita, green job opportunities, energy policies, transportation, and urban agriculture. A recent encouraging sign, WalletHub reports, is the fact that renewable energy was the only type that had an increase in demand during the pandemic. Somebody has to be at the bottom of the lists, and when it comes to bike scores, that's Winston-Salem, NC. But Nashville has nothing to be smug about, ranking 99th. The 10 greenest cities are:

  1. San Diego. Good across the board.
  2. San Francisco. A high bike score and No. 3 rankings in lowest percentage of commuters who drive and percentage of farmers markets per capita.
  3. Portland, Oregon. Fifth for farmers markets, second-highest bike score among cities.
  4. Irvine, California. At the top on energy sources, fourth-highest percentage of green space in the city.
  5. Honolulu. Tops on farmers markets.
  6. Fremont, California. Tied with Anchorage and Chesapeake, Virginia, for most green space.
  7. Washington, DC. Fourth-lowest percentage of commuters who drive to work.
  8. Oakland. Among the best on lowest greenhouse gas emissions per capita.
  9. Seattle. Transportation and energy sources are strengths.
  10. San Jose. Good on environment and energy sources.

The 100th city overall was Gilbert, Arizona, which lacks the share of green space most cities have. In fact, four of the five cities with the lowest scores are in Arizona. The full list can be found here. (Winston-Salem evidently prefers driving; it ranked as the fourth-best city to drive in.)

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