What Makes a City Green?

Everyone wants a city to call home. Although my heart will always be in the midwest, I’m looking for a green city somewhere new (and preferably warm) that offers alternative transportation, green space and clean energy. Wherever I live, I want green lifestyle choices to be easier and more mainstream.

As I get ready to graduate from college, deciding where to plant my roots is a big decision. Before I decide, I wanted to explore cities across the country that value sustainability. First, I’ll explore the parts of a green city that are most important to me.

Transportation

According to the Sierra Club, “Transportation contributes approximately one-third of all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, and must be a prime target for major greenhouse gas reduction.” Cities can help reduce emissions through the transportation sector by embracing high efficiency vehicles and by better designing communities around driving alternatives. These alternatives include, rail, bus, walking and biking. I look forward to living in a city where I can get my legs pedaling on my new ride.

Green space

A city with green space is not only good for the environment, but it’s also good for people. The CRC Health Group explains that spending time in nature helps reduce stress, gives us a sense of purpose and increases our physical activity. From the ocean to the forest, I’ll need to find a place where I can escape into the beauty of nature.

Clean energy

Another factor in determining a sustainable city is its use of clean energy. Instead of being dependent on fossil fuels that contribute to pollution, solar and wind technologies are renewable energy sources that can provide electricity to thousands of homes and businesses.

Green lifestyle

Some cities make green choices easier than others. The availability of organic products, buying local and clean transportation vary from city to city says Mother Nature Network. From bike trails to local farmers markets, going green can be right at your front door if you’re in the right city. While visiting Santa Monica, California, I loved the variety and availability of local and vegan restaurants. The Santa Monica Farmers Market also provides the community with healthful and sustainable products and is the largest farmers market in Southern California.

 

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What factors do you think make a green city?

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