Portland: The Greenest City in the US

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Portland is the Greenest Gity in the United States.

The SustainLane U.S. city rankings factor in each city’s ability to maintain healthy air, drinking water, parks and public transit systems, as well as a robust, sustainable local economy with green building, farmers markets, renewable energy and alternative fuels.

SustainLane: The 2008 US City Rankings

You’ll find extensive coverage on the greening of the 50 most-populous cities in the nation on these pages, and the most complete report card on urban sustainability in America. This report benchmarks each city’s performance in 16 areas of urban sustainability, including an essential new measurement this year: Water Supply. Forged in 2005 and now in its third edition, the peer-reviewed Rankings track the unfolding story of cities working to improve their residents’ quality of life. In this story, some cities are becoming more self-reliant and better prepared for an uncertain future, while others have been slow to act on opportunities to green their municipalities. Get started now with a closer look at our methodology, or a review of what makes a sustainable city.

1. Portland, Oregon — A Role Model for the Nation

Portland, OR: A Role Model for the Nation

If you live in Portland, you might want to think twice before complaining about the 40-plus inches of rain dumped on your head every year. It might be the only thing keeping the entire country from moving to your city by the Prius-load. Portland retained its title as SustainLane’s number one city to beat this year–not surprising given that it got a 30-year jump on the rest of the country. That’s right: city-planners in Portland have been thinking green since the 70s, when the rest of the country was still embracing the strip mall. The city enacted strict land-use policies, implementing an urban growth boundary, requiring density, and setting a strong precedent for sustainable development. The city’s natural beauty is hard to beat, too. But Portlanders aren’t resting on their laurels. According to the city’s sustainable development director, Portland aims to be a "20 Minute City" — where residents spend 20 or less minutes traveling from home to work, shop or play.

"Portland’s support of local farmers and farmers’ markets; its explosion of green buildings and commitment to renewable energy, and its emphasis on mass transportation, including light rail and bicycles, shows that a city can not only be kind to the earth, but also flourish economically and grow by being green." –Mayor Tom Potter, September 2008


National Geographic’s Green Guide

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Here’s an easy way to go green with National Geographic’s new Green Guide. The Green Guide makes living in an  environmentally-aware way easy, understandable and practical. 

Check it out by going to:

It’s not political or activist, but it is chock-full of simple, useful ideas, broken down into achievable steps, that make going green a gradual and affordable process, rather than an all-or-nothing plunge.

Make small changes that add up to big benefits for your wallet, your health and the planet. Subscribe for yourself; and get some subscriptions as gifts to share what you love this year:

It’s a great magazine full of…

  • Reviews of eco-friendly products
  • Money-saving shopping tips
  • Green home improvement how-to’s
  • 100 pages delivered four times a year, and much more.
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