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Portland Ranked as 2nd “Greenest” City in the Country

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Portland is the 2nd most environmentally friendly city in the United States, according to a study released by Wallet Hub.

Portland was ranked behind only New York in the site’s list of the country’s “greenest” cities. To make the list, Wallethub analysis compared 100 U.S. cities based on 13 metrics divided into four categories.

It is not the first time that Oregon has been recognized for its environmentally friendly policies and citizens. As GoLocal reported earlier this year, Wallethub ranked Oregon as the 2nd most “Eco-Friendly State” in the country.

How the Study Was Done

A city’s Environmental Quality rating, worth 40 percent of their ranking, factored in the area’s median air quality index, greenhouse-gas emissions per capita, the percentage of parkland in a city and the city's water quality.

“Greenness of Transportation”, which factored in the percentage of commuters drive to work each day, the annual excess fuel consumed and the ability to walk or bike to work in the city. It made up 25 percent of the city’s ranking.

“Greenness of Energy Sources”, worth 20 percent of a city’s grade, factored in their percentage of electricity from renewable sources and the number of smart energy policy and initiatives.

A city’s lifestyle and local policies score rounded out the final 15 percent of a city’s ranking, and measured the number of farmers markets per capita, the number of green jobs and the number of local programs for promoting the use of renewable energy. 

Top Marks for Portland

Portland received rankings in the top five for each of the four categories, including a first-place finish for “greenness of transportation.”

The city also finished in a tie for first place with San Francisco, California and Honolulu, Hawaii for cities with the most farmers markets per capita. It also had the fourth-highest bike score of any city, trailing only Madison, Wisconsin, San Francisco and first-place Minneapolis Minnesota.


Related Slideshow: Greenest Colleges in the Pacific Northwest

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Washington State University

Pullman, Washington

Enrollment: 23,070

From the moment you arrive on the campus of Washington State, you sense that the university is a “tight-knit community.” In turn, this helps to foster a “friendly atmosphere” and “great spirit,” both of which permeate the school. 

Photo courtesy of Washington State University website.

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University of Puget Sound

Tacoma, Washington 

Enrollment: 2,541

The University of Puget Sound is “the ideal learning environment with plenty of opportunity for both academic and personal growth.” Students are encouraged to “branch out and go beyond their comfort zone in class and outside of class.”

Photo Courtesy of Puget Sound Website 

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Oregon State University

Corvallis, Oregon

Enrollment: 23,161

Oregon State University is a spirited, science-driven school, says a bioengineering major. Students at OSU enjoy the "exceptional 'green living' education" on campus.

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University of Washington

Seattle, Washington

Enrollment: 29,754

Ranked the 15th best university in the world*, the UW is home to a renowned medical center and top-ranked programs in medicine, engineering, nursing, law, business and social work. 

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Willamette University

Salem, Oregon

Enrollment: 2,375

Traditional academics are strong at Willamette, but perhaps what stands out most is that “learning opportunities outside of the classroom are endless.” 

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Portland State University

Portland, Oregon

Enrollment: 23,170

Portland State University’s motto is “let knowledge serve the city,” and students echo this philosophy, saying their school “has a strong focus on civic engagement and sustainability.”

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Lewis & Clark 

Portland, Oregon

Enrollment: 2,179

On a stunning campus in one of the most exciting and progressive cities anywhere, the next generation of global thinkers gathers to discard conventional thinking, civic complacency, and outmoded preconceptions.


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