Survey ranks San Francisco greenest U.S. city

ASPEN, Colo. Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:32am EDT

The skyline of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge appear above the evening fog as the suns sets on the Marin Headlands in Sausalito, California April 18, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

The skyline of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge appear above the evening fog as the suns sets on the Marin Headlands in Sausalito, California April 18, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

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ASPEN, Colo. (Reuters) - San Francisco is the greenest city in North America, followed by Vancouver and New York, according to the latest survey of green-city rankings.

The survey, commissioned by Siemens Corp and conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, looked at 31 indicators, ranging from consumption of water and electricity to efficiency standards.

Detroit was the least green of 27 cities ranked, just behind St. Louis, the survey said.

According to the survey, cities with comprehensive plans for sustainable use of resources such as land and energy, did better in the rankings, and that the correlation between wealth and environmental performance was not as strong in North America compared with Europe and Asia.

Siemens has developed green-city indices for Europe, Latin America, and Asia. This was the company's first for North America.

Similar surveys show slightly different results, but with the same broad group of cities tending to flock to the top. For example, the Daily Beast this year ranked New York, Las Vegas, and San Francisco as the top three.

The website factored in criteria including the percentage of residents who admitted in a survey to "no concern or consciousness of environmental issues."

Siemens Chief Executive Eric Spiegel plans to unveil its new index later Thursday at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

(Reporting by Sarah McBride; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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Comments (5)
jhardaway wrote:
I find it amusing that the top three “green” cities are also the ones that have no grass, few gardens, and no natural forestry (I’m excluding public parks of course). Given this criteria, I’m sure the Economist Intelligence Unit (sounds like the name of a terrorist group) and the Daily Beast (the anti-Christs favorite periodical) are in agreement; beneath all the concrete and asphalt is undisturbed, virgin, “green” land, that is being “preserved” for the enjoyment of future generations.

Jun 30, 2011 6:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
futurist2120 wrote:
Can’t speak for New York, but San Francisco & Vancouver are both beautiful, clean, green cities. Congrats to both!

Jun 30, 2011 12:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
roshambo wrote:
SF may be “ranked” greenest but makes me wonder if these people even walked around the city streets and slums and noticed any of the trash, cigarette butts, oil and transmission fluid leaks or overflowing garbage cans littering the street corners.
Amazing how many articles of trash I have seen falling into the rain gutters, draining into the ocean and creeks…
Skeptical about this ranking system!!

Jun 30, 2011 6:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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