11th and 12th Greenest Cities in America

Minneapolis and St. Paul, of course.

Top-ranking Portland scored 23.1 out of a possible 30.

11. Minneapolis, Minn. 20.3
Electricity: 7.8 Transportation: 7.4 Green Living: 2.8 Recycling/Perspective: 2.3

12. St. Paul, Minn. 20.2
Electricity: 8.0 Transportation: 4.0 Green Living: 3.5 Recycling/Perspective: 4.7

They did a case study on Minneapolis’s “Mobilizing Citizens for Grassroots Climate Change” program which gives small grants (most are $1000) to church or community groups to fund energy-saving initiatives.

Here’s where the rankings came from:

We used raw data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Geographic Society’s Green Guide, which collected survey data and government statistics for American cities of over 100,000 people in more than 30 categories, including air quality, electricity use and transportation habits. We then compiled these statistics into four broad categories, each scored out of either 5 or 10 possible points. The sum of these four scores determines a city’s place in the rankings. Our categories are:

  • Electricity (E; 10 points): Cities score points for drawing their energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric power, as well as for offering incentives for residents to invest in their own power sources, like roof-mounted solar panels.
  • Transportation (T; 10 points): High scores go to cities whose commuters take public transportation or carpool. Air quality also plays a role.
  • Green living (G; 5 points): Cities earn points for the number of buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, as well as for devoting area to green space, such as public parks and nature preserves.
  • Recycling and green perspective (R; 5 points): This measures how comprehensive a city’s recycling program is (if the city collects old electronics, for example) and how important its citizens consider environmental issues.

Found at the Minneapolis Issues Forum, where this perspective on Minneapolis vs St Paul was also offered:

It is estimated that about 40% of commuters into downtown Minneapolis use transit while only 20% of commuters into downtown St Paul use transit. These are pre-rail estimates. Also as far as the size of employment, downtown Minneapolis has about twice as much employment as downtown St Paul (very roughly speaking).

Seems like I hear a lot of griping about how we don’t do enough to make our cities more green. I guess we’re doing better than I thought.

2 Comments so far

  1. Steve (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 11:14 am

    R U KIDDING me with this? This town won’t be very green for very freakin long! Did anyone noticed that all the freakin trees in your neighborhood is being chop down…or order to be cut down because of some POWER TRIPPING ASSSHOLE who’s running this City?


  2. Erica M (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 11:19 am

    because of some POWER TRIPPING ASSSHOLE who’s running this City

    Care to be a little more specific?

    There’s more to it than being literally green. And, you know, we’ve had a lot of storms that just knocked shit down everywhere. I think it’s pretty hard to find grass and trees being razed for the purposes of development these days (just poor people’s homes).



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