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Varying shades of green: Most environmentally friendly cities in the US revealed

Is the US becoming greener? Which cities promote a so-termed “green” lifestyle? Read on.

UC San Diego Health is the academic health system of the University of California, San Diego. — Image: Coolcaesar (CC BY-SA 3.0)
UC San Diego Health is the academic health system of the University of California, San Diego. — Image: Coolcaesar (CC BY-SA 3.0)

In the U.S., in an attempt to promote the green agenda, October has been designated National Energy Awareness Month. Coupled with this, 52 percent of U.S. citizens state that protecting the environment should be prioritised above economic growth (something that runs counter to the traditional view of the U.S. being a pro-growth-at-all-costs economy).

In relation to this increase in green issues, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2023’s Greenest Cities in America.

To determine which cities promote a so-termed “green” lifestyle, WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 28 key indicators of environmental friendliness and sustainability.

The data set ranged from greenhouse-gas emissions per capita to green job opportunities to number of smart-energy policies and initiatives.

The outcome was that the following are the top ten ‘greenest’ cities in the U.S.:

1. San Diego, CA

2. Honolulu, HI

3. Portland, OR

4. Washington, DC

5. Seattle, WA

6. San Jose, CA

7. San Francisco, CA

8. Oakland, CA

9. Fremont, CA

10. Minneapolis, MN

In contrast, the bottom least green cities were found to be:

91. Greensboro, NC

92. Detroit, MI

93. Hialeah, FL

94. Newark, NJ

95. Houston, TX

96. Chandler, AZ

97. Baton Rouge, LA

98. Mesa, AZ

99. Glendale, AZ

100. Gilbert, AZ

The data set produced some interesting findings. For example, Lubbock, Texas was found to have the lowest median air-quality index at 22. This is 3.8 times lower than in Riverside and San Bernardino, California, the cities with the highest at 84 (the lower the position on the index, the greener the outcome).

Anchorage, Alaska, has the greenest spaces, 80.16 percent, which is 46.3 times more than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the least at 1.73 percent. On another measure, San Francisco has the highest walk score, 89, which is 4.2 times higher than in Chesapeake, Virginia, the city with the lowest at 21.

A final statistic of interest is with Honolulu, which has the most farmers markets (per square root of population), 0.123119, which is 77.1 times more than in Arlington, Texas, the city with the fewest at a tiny 0.001597.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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