Sunday, August 15, 2010

Smarter Cities' Best Green American Municipalities

American cities are showing leadership by making their cities more green. A Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) project called Smarter Cities, assessed American cities by their investments in green power as well as energy efficiency and conservation measures.

Out of a total of 655 cities, the 2010 Smarter Cities report names 22 “beacons of energy innovation” in ten states. According to the report, the best cities include six Californian cities (Berkeley, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Oakland, Santa Clarita, Santa Cruz and San Francisco), four Texan cities (Austin, Dallas, Denton and El Paso), and New York, N.Y. For a complete summary of the top 22 green cities see the High Performers Survey Data Table.

Winning cities were assessed on nine dimensions including electricity consumption, EPA green power usage, distributed generation, state legislated energy reduction, greenhouse gas inventory, energy reduction strategy, conservation incentives, energy services and tracking progress.

Columbus’ Ohio is also a leader amongst green cities, they are doing everything they can to incentivize green innovation. The city is proving that sustainable business is good business, they have minimized energy costs and improved the quality of life for residents.

The most successful cities employ conservation tactics like energy audits, weatherization programs and energy-efficiency upgrades. One of the most effective strategies with a wide ripple effect involves supporting green business.

Smarter Cities' next plan is to tackle car-less commuting including public transportation and bike paths. They expect to complete their evaluation in the fall of 2010.
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