Friday, January 05, 2007

Top 10 Eco-Neighborhoods

Just when you think you're community is the greenest of the green, some magazine has to come and ruin it for you by putting out "America's Best Eco-Neighborhoods" a list of towns and cities that have been chosen as having a particularly vibrant eco-neighborhod -- none of which include your humble, but eco-riffic, abode. I was distraught not to see my home city up on the list, but I guess there is always room for improvement.

Topping the list are Austin, TX and Asheville, NC, both of which have a bit of southern charm mixed in with a tint of green. An oddity about this list is that the cities are displayed in alphabetical order, which makes me wonder if the 1 through 10 listing is completely arbitrary and really what we are looking at are 10 cities that have some eco-strengths in certain pockets but aren't necessarily all that dedicated to sustainable development per se.

I noticed that Andersonville, IL, a suburb of Chicago, is also at a key decision point in their city's development. While many of these cities are presently on the green track or were founded by communities dedicated to improving the environment, the future contains some key questions and answers around where they will go and how they'll get there.

However some cities are also committing to more intensive strageties to deal with water pollution, air pollution, global warming and environmental degradation. The city of Denver has quite a plan to limit its greenhouse gas emissions and a mayor that appears ready to tackle the issue head-on. While Denver has other environmental issues it needs to worry about (like water availability in drought season), dealing with global warming on a local scale is key to solving the issue in a larger context.

If you're city didn't make the top ten, feel free to get involved in your community and see if it appears next year. Needless to say its a good start and highlighting who's doing what helps the rest of us.

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