Often, we get this question; what makes a city green? While there are no generally accepted ways to define it, most ranking systems have in the past pointed out a few factors, including good urban planning. Let’s face it, having good urban planning alone isn’t enough for a city to be considered a green city. Instead, a city needs to support that with some best practices to be considered sustainable. One such practice is to have well-defined goals. Apart from that, there must also be access to affordable and healthy food. Also, there must be strict building codes that favor green technology. As such, other ranking factors to identify a green city include renewable energy generation, environmental impact per person, and green spaces. According to a recent ranking by the career research company Zippia, St. Paul, Minnesota occupies the first position on the list of the top 10 greenest cities in the US.
Zippia utilized five different ranking factors, to identify the cities on this list. They include walkability, car ownership, commute length, tons of waste per person, and parkland per 1000 people. In case you’re interested in the full list of the top 10 greenest cities in the US, as compiled by Zippia, here’s what it looks like below.
List Of Top 10 Greenest Cities In The US
1- St. Paul, Minnesota
According to the ranking, St. Paul sits on the first position on the list of top 10 greenest cities in the US. That’s partly because the city only tosses out about 12.4 tons of waste per person. Apart from that, the city has a very short commute, averaging about 18.6. Although St. Paul isn’t the most walkable city in the US, it has a walkability score of 60, which makes it a greener city. As for car ownership, Zippia confirmed that the city scores 79.3, meaning that it’s to some extent safe from personal pollution. Lastly, St. Paul has a score of 16.6 in terms of parkland per 1000 people, which also contributed to why it’s topping this list.
2- Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu is currently the capital and the largest city in Hawaii. Despite that, the city occupies the second position on the top 10 list of the greenest cities in the world. According to the ranking by Zippia, the city scores 65 in terms of walkability, 69.7 in terms of car ownership, and an average commute of 29.1. As for waste, the city only tosses 15.4 tons of waste per person. Last, Honolulu has a parkland score of 34.1 per 1000 people in the city.
3- St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, located in Missouri, occupies the third spot on the list of the top 10 greenest cities in the US. That’s mainly because of its great parks such as Forest Park. However, the city also sits in this position because of its low amount of wastes, which is about 22.3 tons per person. Speaking of the average commute, the city has a score of 20.1, making it one of the cities with the shortest commute in the country.
4- Madison, Wisconsin
Sitting on the fourth position on the list of the top 10 greenest cities in the US is Madison, Wisconsin. According to studies, Madison scores 75.5 in terms of car ownership. With that, it means its residents own fewer cars, thus the rate of pollution is not as much as those with a very high score. Furthermore, Madison only tosses out about 26 tons of waste per person.
5- San Diego, California
San Diego, located in California, is currently one of the top 10 greenest cities in the US. The city earned this position because of its low car ownership in the country, according to studies. Apart from that, the city only tosses out about 35 tons of waste per person – fair enough to consider it as a green city.
6- Scottsdale, Arizona
Sitting on the sixth spot on the list of the top 10 greenest cities in the US is Scottsdale, Arizona. Speaking of the city, it has a score of 31 in terms of walkability. Apart from that, the city scores 46.7 in terms of car ownership, and about 124.3 in terms of parkland per 1000 people.
7- Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage, located in Alaska, is the seventh on the list of top 10 greenest cities in the US. And that’s because of its impressive score in terms of green spaces. Elaborating on that, the city has a score of 2992 parkland per 1k people. Furthermore, Anchorage also has a good score of 28 in terms of walkability. As far as the waste in the city is concerned, there are only about 15.4 tons of it per person.
8- Buffalo, New York
Next on the list of the top 10 greenest cities in the US is Buffalo. Located in New York, the city is one of the most eco-friendly cities in the US. Apart from that, it’s also a walkable city, despite that it has a score of 80.2 in terms of car ownership.
9- Orlando, Florida
Orlando occupies the ninth spot on the top 10 list of the greenest cities in the US. In terms of green space, the city is no doubt one of the poorest in the country. However, it has some of the lowest commutes and only tosses out 14.7 tons of waste per person.
10- St. Petersburg, Florida
Sitting on the last position on this list is St. Petersburg. Located in Florida, the city has a walkability score of 44 and only throws out 14.7 tons of waste per person. Furthermore, in terms of parkland, the city has a score of 24.4 per 1000 people. Speaking of car ownership, it has a score of 51.7, which means there’s a reduction in the rate of pollution in the city when you compare it with other cities.