The same city that hosts the Century 21 Affiliated headquarters is also ranked #1 for being the greenest city in the United States. Nerd Wallet has chosen Madison, WI as its top selection for the most eco-friendly city. “Madison earns the distinction of being the greenest city in the U.S., partly due to the fact that the city is literally “green”—its 12.7 parks per 10,000 residents is the highest mark of all cities in the country. The Madison area is home to over 15,000 acres of lakes and more than 200 miles of biking and hiking trails . In fact, the city boasts more bikes than cars, which no doubt contributes to the area’s great air quality.”
When a website creates a list with the title, “Greenest Cities in America,” it’s easy to think you know which ones will be included and why. NerdWallet’s list of that name does contain a couple overlapping municipalities with lists on the top solar cities or the most bike-friendly communities, for example, but it’s mostly comprised of cities that deserve far more recognition for their sustainable, environment-focused efforts.
Neighboring state, Minnesota also received recognition in both cities that make up the state’s iconic “twin cities.” St. Paul, MN was not only recognized for its great air quality and low rate of wasted fuel per commuter, but also “boasts more than 20 buildings that are certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design , which identifies the world’s greenest and most energy-efficient buildings. Furthermore, the area contains over 170 parks and open spaces and 100 miles of trails .” Minneapolis was recognized for their “92 miles of on-street bikeways and 85 miles of off-street paths, Minneapolis is one of the best biking cities in the nation. The city is also home to several green groups, including the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society, a nonprofit organization that has promoted the use of renewable energy since 1978.”
Aside from NerdWallet’s four major measurables, it seemed to also give the nod to cities with environmentally friendly programs that help to guide the path to sustainability. For example, No. 4 Rochester, N.Y. has established its Project Green, which promises that more than three dozen city blocks will be converted into a “green infrastructure” of open space for community gardens, urban farms, parks and renewable-energy facilities. Additionally, the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute of Sustainability provides sustainable production, energy and eco-friendly information technology educational programs.
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