NerdWallet has put together a list of the greenest cities in the country, and it’s a pleasure and no surprise that the Twin Cities have made the list. St. Paul pulls a few ranks ahead of Minneapolis, but both have made enough progress in the green movement to crack the top ten.
The list shows the county’s 95 largest cities using an algorithm that accounts for the median Air Quality Index, number of parks per 10,000 residents, the percentage of commuters not using cars, and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. St. Paul clocks in 8th, Minneapolis 10th.
St. Paul gets the higher rank because the capital city has more parks per 10,000 residents — 6.5 compared to 4.7 in Minneapolis. That more than makes up for the fact that more Minneapolitans walk, bike, carpool, or take public transit to work by a nearly 10% margin (37.4%compared to 28.3% in St. Paul).
Here’s the rest of the top 10:
3. Corpus Cristi
4. Rochester, NY
8. St. Paul – In addition to its great air quality and low rate of wasted fuel per commuter, St. Paul boasts more than 20 buildings that are certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which identifies the world’s greenest and most energy-efficient buildings. Furthermore, the area contains over 170 parks and open spaces and 100 miles of trails.
9. New Orleans
10. Minneapolis – Much like its Twin City St. Paul, Minneapolis offers great air quality and a relatively uncongested environment for transportation. With 92 miles of on-street bikeways and 85 miles of off-street paths, Minneapolis is one of the best biking cities in the nation. The city is also home to several green groups, including the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES), a non-profit organization that has promoted the use of renewable energy since 1978.