Considering climate change’s potentially devastating effects, many Americans look for sustainable cities. However, not everyone knows which cities are the best places to go. Fortunately, the following options are among the best places to live.
With a metro population of 974,563, this city can be packed without feeling cramped. Overall, 10.6% of the city’s energy is generated via renewable sources, limiting its impact on the world. For every person, there are 321.8 square feet of greenery.
Furthermore, 18.6% of the commuters use energy-efficient transportation methods. Similarly, the region’s bike share program has helped expand its carbon-free transport options. Consequently, Honolulu ranks among the nation’s top 15% of all-electric vehicle registrations.
New York, New York
New York City has a population of over 14 million, giving it a massive density. Moreover, it generates 12.7% of its electricity using renewable resources. In addition to renewable energy generation, 52.8% of commuters use energy-efficient transport. Since it is compact, its resource consumption is limited. Likewise, the area’s densely packed streets make for easy walking, so many people walk all over. Additionally, it is in the bottom 1% of the country for vehicle ownership.
The Sedona Sustainable Pledge has committed the city to limit its carbon emissions by 50%. Now, citizens can sign their names on the pledge and commit with them. Nevertheless, the community’s home energy retrofit program is given to homeowners.
If a homeowner wants to improve their home’s energy efficiency, they can receive up to $5,000 for the project. Therefore, many homes in this area are being upgraded with new improvements. On the pledge form, people guarantee they will limit their water consumption.
Los Angeles, California
Despite being slightly smaller than New York, LA is spread out much more. Regardless, its commuters use less energy-efficienct transportation. Additionally, there are only 229.3 square feet of green space per person. The city council made a pact to eliminate landfill waste by 2025.
Already, they have diverted 76.4% of their landfill waste, making a huge difference. Luckily, they have reduced their use of styrofoam, plastic straws, and disposable utensils. Looking forward, they plan on eliminating their use of takeaway containers.
Denver was awarded the LEED for Cities Platinum Certification in 2019. This program honors communities that strive to enhance sustainability using urban planning. Moreover, the community has been working to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2030. To accomplish this, they are constructing solar gardens above municipal parking lots. Once these are built, electricity will be available for low-income housing.
Boston’s population is over 2 million, although they only have 7.2% renewable power. Yet, the city ranks in the top 5% for energy-efficient commuters, including 32.8% of the population. They also met their 2020 carbon reduction five years ahead of schedule. As a consequence, they have cut emissions by 60% more than originally planned.
Washington, D.C. is in the top 2% of the nation for LEED-certified buildings, making them sustainable. Likewise, they feature over 383.2 square feet of green space per person in the city limits. Further, the city’s investments in wind and solar are pushed, propelling them to the top 3% of the country.
St. Paul, Minnesota
Minnesota as a whole has pledged to reduce emissions by 80% before 2050. However, St. Paul is taking things a step further by setting a goal for carbon neutrality at the same time. As a result, city planners require building owners to track their energy use. Plus, they must report their water use, making them work hard to limit their impact.
Seattle has launched the nation’s first carbon-neutral utility company. Since the city is home to many hydroelectric dams, they have ranked in the country’s top 2% for renewables. Microsoft is also in the city, and they have promised to become carbon negative by 2030. Meanwhile, Amazon has made a promise to do the same by 2040, so Microsoft is not alone.
America’s Most Sustainable Cities
If you are concerned about the environment, then where you live matters a lot. By moving to an environmentally friendly city, you are assured you will lower your impact.