Somerville ranked No. 3 ‘Green City’ in U.S.

This story was originally published in the Somerville Journal. 

Over the past few years, Somerville has implemented a list of environmentally fueled goals to accomplish.

For starters, the city hopes to be carbon neutral by 2050, and have 50 percent of all trips be completed by public transit, biking or walking, as detailed in the 30-year SomerVision plan.

As a result of citywide efforts to be more sustainable, paired with demographics and planning, Somerville was recently named as one of the ”Best Green Cities for Families in 2017” by SmartAsset. The city was ranked third on the national list, falling just behind Cambridge and Honolulu.

Using information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Department of Education, and the Environmental Protection Agency, SmartAsset developed a list of the top “greenest” cities in the country.

Looking at 446 of the largest cities in the United States, SmartAsset used a series of eleven metrics to determine quality of life for families: average high school graduation rate, violent crime rate, unemployment rate, median household income, median annual housing costs housing density, EPA air quality index average, average household carbon footprint, percent of clean commuters, number of farmers’ markets, and local government renewable energy use.

From there SmartAsset averaged the rankings, with equal weight distributed amongst the metrics, and developed an index, assigning each city a score from 0 to 100. Honolulu, which placed first, received a perfect score.

Vice President of Content AJ Smith said Somerville and Cambridge ranked in the top three, in part, due to their high rate of commuters.

“Fifty-eight percent of commuters in Somerville and sixty-eight percent of commuters in Cambridge use eco-friendly modes of transportation to get to work,” she said. “Additionally, the EPA air quality index falls below 50 in both cities, meaning they have clean air. And fortunately for parents who are trying to support their families, both Somerville and Cambridge offer a low unemployment rate of 3.1 percent.”

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