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NYC: America’s 20th Greenest City?

Popular Science ranks the country’s 50 Greenest Cities in its latest issue and New York comes in at a respectable #20, despite being beaten out by Boston and Chicago. The magazine used raw data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Geographic Society’s Green Guide, which collected government statics and survey data across 30 different sustainability categories. Pop Sci then distributed these statistics across four broad categories: electricity, transportation, green living, and recycling and green perspective. Cities earned points for items such as their number of LEED-certified buildings, how much energy they draw from renewable sources, how many commuters use public transportation or carpool, and how much land they devote to public green space.

Despite getting low marks in the electricity and recycling/green perspective categories, New York City was the category leader in transportation (no surprise there), earning ten points out of ten. Pop Sci reports that 54 percent of New Yorkers take public transportation to work, beating out Washington, D.C., the next-highest ranked city in transportation, by 17 percent.

Coming in first on the list was Portland, Oregon, which earned high marks across the board. A quarter of Portland’s residents commute by bike, carpool, or public transportation, half of its energy comes from renewable sources such as wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric power, and the city counts 35 LEED-certified buildings within its city limits.

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