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Portland Ranked Among Greenest Cities in U.S.

Thursday, October 12, 2017
GoLocalPDX News Team

The City of Portland is ranked as one of the greenest cities in the country.

According to a recent study completed by WalletHub, Portland is the ninth greenest city in the U.S.

“Apart from employing Americans, clean energy and other “green” practices, such as recycling programs and urban agriculture, benefit the environment and public health, all of which contribute to America’s bottom line, according to many experts. Recognizing those advantages, cities across the U.S. have aligned their sustainability efforts with their economic goals and in turn have received handsome returns on such investments,” said WalletHub.

Portland’s Rankings

  • 69th Best - Environment
  • 4th Best - Transportation
  • 15th Best - Energy Sources
  • 7th Best - Lifestyle & Policy
  • 4th - Highest Bike Score
  • 3rd - Most Farmers Markets per Capita


The Rankings


See the Full Rankings in the Map Below

Source: WalletHub

The Method

In order to determine the greenest cities in America, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 most populated cities across four key dimensions: 1) Environment, 2) Transportation, 3) Energy Sources and 4) Lifestyle & Policy.

We evaluated those dimensions using 22 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the greenest practices and policies.

Although recycling is vital to the sustainability efforts of each city, the types and sizes of recycling facilities vary widely by city. 

Finally, we determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its total score and used the resulting scores to rank-order the cities in our sample. In determining our sample, we considered only the “city proper” in each case and excluded surrounding cities in the metro area.

Environment – Total Points: 40

  • Median Air-Quality Index: Full Weight (~8.00 Points)
  • Greenhouse-Gas Emissions per Capita: Full Weight (~8.00 Points)
  • Urban Heat Island Effect: Full Weight (~8.00 Points)
  • Green Space: Full Weight (~8.00 Points)
  • Water Quality: Full Weight (~8.00 Points)


Transportation – Total Points: 25

  • Share of Commuters Who Drive: Double Weight (~4.55 Points)
  • Average Commute Time by Car: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
  • Walk Score: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
  • Bike Score: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
  • Miles of Bicycle Lanes: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
  • Presence of Bike-Sharing Program: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
  • Annual Excess Fuel Consumption: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
  • Intersection Density: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)
  • Accessibility of Jobs by Public Transit: Full Weight (~2.27 Points).
  • Alternative-Fuel Stations per Capita: Full Weight (~2.27 Points)


Energy Sources – Total Points: 20

  • Share of Electricity from Renewable Sources: Double Weight (~10.00 Points)
  • Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installations per Capita: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Number of Smart-Energy Policies & Initiatives: Full Weight (~5.00 Points)


Lifestyle & Policy – Total Points: 15

  • Farmers Markets & CSA Programs per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.75 Points)
  • Community Garden Plots per Capita*: Full Weight (~3.75 Points)
  • “Green” Job Opportunities: Full Weight (~3.75 Points)
  • Number of Local Programs Promoting Green-Energy Use: Full Weight (~3.75 Points)


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