NYC Ranked 12th Most Sustainable City in U.S.

rankingsI was surprised to hear that in a list recently released by the NRDC, New York was ranked as the 12th most sustainable city in the U.S.  That isn’t such a terrible spot to be in, but I assumed that our density and public transportation would have been enough to give us a formidable leg-up on the competition and put us near the top!  Of course, the criteria for the rankings aren’t just about plain old measures of sustainability.  They specify the progress various cities are making toward sustainability.  Does this mean that we are resting on our laurels, New York?

New York is a city of superlatives and is unique in the United States, yet when compared to other U.S. cities close to its size it shares similar advantages and disadvantages in maintaining its environment. Air pollution—especially particulates, which can trigger heart attacks and asthmatic episodes—remains a problem. And the city draws little power from alternative energy sources, though it is experimenting with some innovations such as water turbines in the East River. But the city’s greatest advantages are perhaps its oldest: The sheer density of people makes car ownership more of a burden than a privilege and its robust public transportation system continues to keep cars off the road. Read more

You can also check out coverage of the rankings on the Grist.

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