City, News

Boston rises in green rankings

The city of Boston leaped ahead just in time for fall as the sixth most sustainable city in the nation, a spot above last year’s seventh place slot, according to an evaluation by SustainLane 2008, a ranking system owned by a media group that focuses on sustainable living.
The improvement in sustainability rankings is due to a slew of environmentally focused city projects, including Mayor Thomas Menino’s Solar Boston program, which installs solar panels on city rooftops, and the CleanAir Cabs initiative, launched in April 2007, which will replace all traditional taxis with hybrid vehicles, Boston Environmental Department Director Brian Glascock said.
Glascock also cited Boston’s green zoning project, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which set standards to ensure new buildings fit sustainability requirements.
Sustainability is ‘making lifestyle, infrastructure, development, economic and environmental choices that are either totally benign to or create benefits for environmental health,’ Sierra Club Massachusetts Chapter Director James McCaffrey said.
‘Sustainability just makes everything more pleasant,’ Sierra Club regional representative Carol Oldham said. ‘You can make use of public transportation, air quality is higher and parks are better.’
‘So many cities can learn from each other,’ she said. ‘I think we’re improving, the whole nation is getting why we need to be sustainable.’
City Parks Department spokeswoman Mary Hines said a number of park renovations have benefited both the environment and the people who live near them, citing a recent renovation of an athletic field where the ground was replaced with artificial turf to allow for better drainage and a misting station added so athletes can cool off after games.
‘I love the parks department,’ she said. ‘You’re able to go home and feel like you’ve made a difference.’

One Comment

  1. Nice article, Julia! What are the top 5 cities? Just curious.