Aug 23, 2016 by

When people think of living in a green city, many automatically picture Portland, Oregon. While Portland is an icon for the green city movement, there are many cities out there that offer a similar lifestyle. From public transportation to eco-friendly housing to sprawled urban parks, there are a number of places that provide the green lifestyle you want. Here’s a closer look at how a few cities are upping their eco-friendliness.


The best way cities up their green factor is with savvy solutions to age-old problems. For example, cities like Minneapolis have dedicated time and money to improve their infrastructure for cyclists. Both segregated bike lanes and public bike racks helped rank Minneapolis at the top of bike-friendly cities, but also determined this rank based on how nice inhabitants are toward those on two wheels and pedals, which cuts down on rush hour traffic.

Green Buildings

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco are at the top of the list of cities with the best and most eco-friendly buildings. L.A.’s skyline is full of structures that were made for commercial performance, but still cut energy use by considerable amounts. Coupled with the use of electric and self-driving cars, L.A. ranks high in greenness.

Another city that may surprise you with green commercial and residential buildings is Chicago, which has 5.5 million square feet of green rooftops in the city, thanks to the launch of the green roof initiative. More than 500 roofs in this city are hosts for gardens which produce fresh vegetables, other roof space makes for lush high-rise parks. For many in this city, the best parks are a rooftop away.

Public Transportation

A study was done by SmartAsset to determine the best cities for public transportation in the United States. They took many factors into account such as ride time and the percentage of transit commuters versus car commuters and determined the best and most used public transportation system is in Washington D.C. This may come as a shock, as the New York subway is commonly thought of as the best public transportation in the nation. However, D.C. beats the Big Apple with a fleet of buses and its own underground subway, as public transit commuters only spent an average of 8.6 minutes longer on their commute than a driver. Coupled with the fact that the underground handles 200 million rides a year and the bus system another 130 million, this is the best public transit the nation.

Green roofs can help feed people, rain-catch systems can be used for irrigation and drinkable water once treated, public transpiration can cut down on carbon emissions and riding your bike will cut down on your own carbon foot print. For you to find the city that’s right for you, ask yourself which aspects of green a lifestyle you struggle with the most as cities with infrastructure that helps you be more progressive just might be the ones that’s best for you and the Earth.

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