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Which Cities in North America are the Most Sustainable?

As 2012 has drawn to a close and we are moving into yet another exciting year full of new technology, green initiatives in business operations and in communities. I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge some of the cities that are doing their part to reduce CO2 emissions, increase alternatives in transportation, and encouraging their community to get involved in these practices in sustainability. To give homeowners a better awareness of the environmental sustainability of cities throughout the world, Siemens— a Europe-based electronics and electrical engineering company— has created a ranking system that reflects how cities fair in terms of eco-friendliness. This site has included all of the cities in the world but I thought that I would just focus on the cities in North America, to give readers an idea of which cities in the U.S. and Canada are working to improve their carbon footprint.


Located in the center of Pima County, Arizona, Tucson is only beginning to make its efforts to become a more sustainable city, but their efforts are significant and are making an impact, so I felt that they deserved a nod. Although this city has yet to improve on its modes of public transportation, the city is encouraging the use of transportation alternatives by creating more bike lanes and, according to GreenAmerica.org, local car dealerships are offering a 25 percent discount on auto loans for new and used cars in Tucson that are hybrids or electric.

Plus, NRG of Tucson finally got their solar energy plant online and are already making plans to create power for 20,000 homes in the Tucson area at the time of full production.


This coastal city, located in Western Canada, has a population of 2.1 million and although it is the third-most populated city in the country, Vancouver ranks number one in producing the lowest amount of CO2 emissions. The green city index also noted that they rank at third in the country in using energy efficient alternatives in their public transportation and number four in overall energy efficiency.

New York City

With a population of 19 million, New York City is the largest city in North America and was ranked as third overall by Siemens’ green city index. Though this city has a smaller amount of land than others in the country, they are No. 1 in land-use efficiency and did well in all areas except in overall energy efficiency and this is likely because New York City is the known as the city that never sleeps, meaning businesses are powered around the clock.

Whether you’re looking for a more sustainable city to relocate to, or want to visit a city that is making a strong effort to preserve our beautiful green planet, resources like Siemens’ green city index and GreenAmerica.org are great sites for providing impartial information that is up to date and accurate.

Contributed by Nicole Dunham

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