Eco-Kudos

America Names Top Smart-Growth Cities




The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Growth Awards recognize innovation in everything from creating small public spaces in densely packed urban cores to investing in compact communities and preserving forests and farmland. It all makes for greater livability.

This past year, the Big Apple took honors for overall excellence. “New York City has achieved a relatively small carbon footprint, given its size, through its commitment to creating compact and walkable neighborhoods,” according to the agency report. The city has also built dedicated bike lanes and carved out public spaces in urban jungles like Times Square.

Portland, Oregon, wins kudos for its realistic growth plan to accommodate an anticipated 600,000 population by 2030, strengthening employment and concentrating commerce, while preserving its neighborhoods and connections with nature. In Maine, 20 towns collaborated in a commercial and tourist byway, while preserving the region’s rural character. San Francisco earned praise for transforming a previously neglected alleyway into the vibrant South of Market retail area, as did Baltimore for its green rehab of an historic building into a mixed-use space that revitalized the surrounding neighborhood.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

In Vitro Corals

Frustrated by vanishing reefs, scientists are fertilizing coral sperm and eggs in labs and returning them to the wild.

Algae Alchemy

Two Dutch designers are processing live algae into material that can be used for 3-D printing of such items as shampoo bottles and trash bins.

Lower Overhead

Cincinnati has purchased 100 percent renewable energy to operate most of its municipal buildings through at least 2021, cutting its utility rates by more than $100,000 annually.

Independent Action

More than 50 mayors from around the globe have signed the Chicago Climate Charter, intended to guide cities toward reaching greenhouse gas emissions reductions similar to those targeted in the Paris climate accord.

Deadly Cargo

The Iranian tanker Sanchi oil spill in the East China Sea has scientists worried about unknown impacts caused by the toxic nature of the ultra-light, highly flammable oil.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags