Yahoo picked 10 Cities that "in no particular order -- ... putting residents first. That means they're obsessed with clean air and clean water, renewable energy, reliable city buses, trams, streetcars and subways, a growing number of parks and greenbelts, farmer's markets and, very important, opportunities for community involvement."
"Portland, Oregon - ... More than 30 years ago, ... tore down a six-lane expressway to make room for a waterfront park. ... set an urban growth boundary to protect 25 million acres of forest and farmland, started a solid-waste program that recycles more than half of the city's trash and erected more than 50 public buildings that meet tough standards set by the United States Green Building Council. ..."
"Austin, Texas - Home to the first Whole Foods Market ... 205 parks, 14 nature preserves, and 25 greenbelts. ... plans to meet 20 percent of its energy needs with renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2020. ... a recycling center that dates back to 1970, a dozen outdoor farmer's markets, city buses that offer free rides on 'high ozone' days and an innovative "pay-as-you-throw" trash collection program that rewards residents for being less wasteful ..."
Minneapolis, Minnesota - ... more than 60 percent of downtown workers use public or alternative transportation ... Free parking for registered van and car pools, an extensive bike path and bike lane system and employer-sponsored showers ... Minnesota State Department of Commerce nudging businesses and residents to hook solar systems up to the city's grid, ..."
"Boulder, Colorado - ... city planners started preserving parkland in 1898. ... more than 90 percent of residents recycle, where new water meters are not allowed above certain elevation, thus protecting ridgelines and peaks, and where, when recent federal tax cuts gutted city budgets, residents voted themselves a third sales-tax hike to raise $51 million to buy and protect even more open land."
"Burlington, Vermont - ... More than one-third of all energy used in the city comes from renewable resources, ... laws don't allow the use of pesticides on public parks, land or waterways. ... residents formed an extensive network of citizen-based groups that take on everything from environmental programs to clean up toxic sites to watchdog groups to monitor pollution in Lake Champlain. ..."
"Madison, Wisconsin - ... first city in the United States to offer curbside recycling ... 15,000 acres of lakes and 6,000 acres of parkland ... recycling program gets a whopping 97 percent participation, with 265 tons of material... collected each week.... bike-friendly city with more than 100 miles of bike paths ...a place where there are three bikes for every car."
"New York, New York - ... More than 80 percent of NYC residents use public transportation,... New Yorkers burn gasoline at the rate the U.S. did in the 1920s. ... ... Per capita, New Yorkers use fewer resources and put less pressure on their surroundings than any other city of its size. ..."S
"San Francisco, California - ... bus, subway and ferry services that reach throughout the Bay Area, .. . more than half the city's residents use public or alternative transportation to get to work. ... Prevailing winds ... help keep pollution at bay. ... leader in green building, with more than 20 building projects registered for official green certification. And city residents are willing to tax themselves. Voters said yes to allowing the city to sell $100 million in revenue bonds to support renewable energy."
"Santa Monica, California - ... Three of every four of the city's public works vehicles run on alternative fuel, ... among the largest such fleets in the country. All public buildings use renewable energy. ... the city has cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10 percent, ... an urban runoff facility catches 3.5 million gallons of water each week that would otherwise flow into the bay. ..."
"Chicago, Illinois - ... has 42 green-certified building projects, with more to come. ... city's nine museums and the Art Institute ... converted to run partially on solar power. ... one-third of all residents use public transportation to get to work. ...energy goals, likely to be met, is buying 20 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources this year. ... give tax incentives to homeowners who invest in Chicago's many historic homes and retrofit them with energy efficient heating and cooling systems, as well as water-saving plumbing. ..."
Via: Yahoo.com Link