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This Southern City Was Just Named The Greenest Place In America

By Brian Spaen

Bigger cities tend to have a bad reputation when it comes to being green. Many consider the numerous buildings and pollution output from factories and cars to be hazardous to the environment and its inhabitants. However, ListShack sheds some light on the positives with a score based on the Metropolitan Statistical Area, or MSA, of all cities with a population of one million or more. They ranked the top 10 greenest cities, and while most are found on the East and West Coasts, it might be surprising to see the home of Texas’ biggest university at the top of the charts.

Source: ListShack

Austin, Texas, and its surrounding area of Round Rock, dominated the MSA charts by having nearly triple the amount as the second-best score. They finished at 6.476 while second-place Portland, Oregon checked in at 2.287. The huge boost in score was thanks to a high number of LEED—or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design— certified buildings per 1,000 residents, which the category itself doubled all of the top 10 cities’ total MSA score. It accounted for nearly 80 percent of the Austin-Round Rock area’s final tally.