Green City Index 2011: Leaders and Laggards

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San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA (MSA) came in #1 on the Green City Index 2011

The Green City Index is the Business Courier’s annual study in which it measures relative green strengths against 43 cities where the Courier’s parent American City Business Journals Inc. publishes.  See where your metro ranked and which cities lead and lag in the four indicator areas of “competitive green-ness” as measured by the index, namely congestion, healthy air, carbon emissions and green jobs. Overall, Green City Index found the following ten MSAs (MSAs are Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined and designated by the Office of Management and Budget)  to be the most “green:”

  1. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA (MSA)
  2. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA (MSA)
  3. Honolulu, HI (MSA)
  4. Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO (MSA)
  5. Austin-Round Rock, TX (MSA)
  6. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (MSA)
  7. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH (MSA)
  8. Albuquerque, NM (MSA)
  9. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY (MSA)
  10. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (MSA)

The following MSAs hold positions 43- 39, representing the five least green cities in the 43 city sample.

43.  Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL (MSA)

42.  Memphis, TN-MS-AR (MSA)

41.  St. Louis, MO-IL (MSA)

40.  Birmingham-Hoover, AL (MSA)

39.  Indianapolis-Carmel, IN (MSA)

If you’re looking for a green job, these five cities are your best bet:

  1. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (MSA)
  2. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX (MSA)
  3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA (MSA)
  4. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH (MSA)
  5. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD (MSA)

If you plan on commuting by car (a Prius I’m sure), these 5 MSAs have the least congestion:

  1. Greensboro-High Point, NC (MSA)
  2. Wichita, KS (MSA)
  3. Dayton, OH (MSA)
  4. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY (MSA)
  5. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY (MSA)

However, if you spend most of your time on bike or foot, you may want to avoid Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Louiseville, Nashville and St. Louis as they rank poorest in carbon emissions.

Interestingly, there was a lot of movement in the rankings this year from last, an encouraging sign that cities are taking green concerns seriously.

To read more about these leaders and laggards, check out the Green City Index Database here.

Image Credit:  http2007 via Flickr under CC license.

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