General Question

iphigeneia's avatar

What is the 'greenest' American city?

Asked by iphigeneia (6207 points ) June 20th, 2011

I love big cities that are dotted with little (or big) parks, squares and gardens. I haven’t really had the opportunity to just wander around any American cities, but I’d like to get back there soon. Based on this information, where would you recommend?

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16 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

By green, do you mean the color green (like has the most flora and fauna) or green like is the most environmentally friendly?

iphigeneia's avatar

I meant green as in ‘has the most trees/grass’. Is the details section not clear?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If you really want to see nice parks, try a city in Canada.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Just checking – normally the word green in quotation marks is code for environmentally friendly.

Judi's avatar

Maybe Portland or Eugene Oregon.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

According to this list Anchorage, Alaska looks like it would be the top city.

A personal recommendation would be Minneapolis in Minnesota a.k.a. “The Land of 10,000 Lakes”. There are many parks and nature reserves. It is also an artsy city, has plenty of great restaurants, and the Mall of America.

jrpowell's avatar

Looks out Window – Yup, Eugene is very green. As long as you are south of the river there are parks every 10 blocks or so. And there are a lot of big trees lining the streets.

Megan64's avatar

I would agree (being a west-coast-centric person) that the greenest cities are probably either Eugene or Portland. I wonder how they both rank on being the “greenest.”

skfinkel's avatar

If you want to see a great park, don’t miss Central Park in New York City—it’s remarkable. Not what we would call a “green” city, though.

Judi's avatar

@johnpowell; I didn’t know you lived in my hometown. I get homesick this time of year. I grew up across the street from Washington park at 21st and Washington Street.

jrpowell's avatar

@Judi :: I’m at 10th and Jackson right now near the Washington/Jefferson street bridge.

Judi's avatar

Small world :-)

Judi's avatar

Eugene. The only town I know that puts a park under a bridge/overpass.

crisw's avatar

This very comprehensive report has some surprising conclusions:

“Cities that provide particularly large amounts of parkland per 1,000 residents include New Orleans, Virginia Beach, Albuquerque, Scottsdale, and Jacksonville. Older, more densely populated cities that provide residents with substantial amounts of green space include St. Paul, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh. Anchorage, Alaska offers the most parkland, with the gargantuan Chugach State Park inside its municipal borders.

Among cities that provide considerable parkland as a percent of the city’s area are New York, San Francisco, Boston, San Diego, Raleigh, and Austin.”

The link to the report in the article is broken; it’s actually here.

According to that report, other than Anchorage, the top five cities by park acreage per 1000 residents were New Orleans, Virginia Beach, Scottsdale, Jacksonville and El Paso. The top ten cities in acreage as a percentage of city area were Anchorage, New Orleans, Virginia Beach, Albuquerque, San Diego, New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, El Paso and Raleigh.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I don’t know which cities are the ‘greenest’ or the most environmentally friendly, but I do know that cities in the DFW area of TX (Dallas, Ft. Worth, Arlington, etc.) are definitely NOT ‘green’ by any stretch of the imagination!

bolwerk's avatar

Greenest city or most greenwashed city? Plenty of cities are greenwashed, in that they have a lot of nice parks.

Probably the greenest in terms of environmental impact would be New York, where relatively low rates of automobile use, high rates of transit use, and low energy consumption conspire to make the impact per resident quite low.

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