Which City in America is the Greenest of All of Them?
In honour of Earth Day taking place tomorrow, we've decided to take a look at how some of the most influential cities in the world are aiming to win the title of being the most environmentally conscious.
San Francisco, California
Living waste-free seems like an unattainable goal but it is one that San Francisco aims to achieve by the year 2020. As part of their action towards achieving the goal they have already banned plastic bags and implemented waste subdivision containers in all stores, restaurants, campuses and residential streets.
Additionally, the city has transformed its transportation and infrastructure to be more environmentally friendly by having more than half their buses and light rails causing zero emissions. As an attempt to reduce emissions further some companies even offer employees incentives to use the transportation systems instead of their own vehicles.
New York City, New York
New York City has created a goal of lowering greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050. The action taking place to make this achievable include planting 950,000 trees, adding six million square feet of reflective rooftop to the urban landscape, and their most recent endeavour which included transforming Times Square to have more public space.
Los Angeles, California
California has made an action plan that includes numerous tangible items towards a goal of reducing greenhouse gases, some of the most notable actions include: a declaration that buildings designed after 2025 must be Zero Net Energy facilities, a statement that buildings larger than 10,000 square feet shall use on site power generation, and that new and major renovated State buildings larger than 10,000 square feet must obtain LEED "Silver" certification or higher.
While California was notably focusing on improving the number of LEED certified buildings in the area, Boston has outlined its priorities as: transforming Boston's transportation system to reduce emissions, encouraging sustainable development, ensuring equitable access to green jobs, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% in 2020 and 80% by 2050.
After successfully reducing greenhouse gases by 2% each year starting in 2008, Cincinnati updated their environmental initiatives plan to a new 5 year plan which began in 2013. The updated plan aims to improve water, outdoor recreation and climate adaption as well as work towards more sustainable efforts.
Currently the most green city according to ListShack, Austin features not only 5.113 LEED buildings per every 1000 residents but also 0.97 miles of bike lanes per every 10,000 residents. The growing amount of bike lanes in the area suggest that more citizens want to become environmentally conscious by cycling to their destination and reducing their carbon footprint. Additionally, the area is known for it's .145 percent of parkland.
Washington DC, Virginia
While Austin Texas is currently the most green city, the District aims to make DC the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the nation by 2032 by implementing the Sustainable DC Plan. While the plan includes improvement across multiple sectors, some of the most notable action items include: making 90% of neighbourhoods walkable, planting 14, 137 trees annually with a goal of 10,850 in 2032, and making 90% of commuter trips by bike, walking or transit by 2032.