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Report Names 10 Cities Where Living Green is Easy

Published: Monday, May 12, 2014 12:28 p.m. CDT

By Natalie Wise

Where does “green” living reign? Using the Air Quality Index, the number of parks per 10,000 residents, and the percentage of the population that chooses a green commute such as walking, biking or carpooling to work, or working from home, Nerd Wallet crowned the top 10 greenest cities.

Madison, Wis., takes top honors as the Greenest City. This town, full of biking paths, lakes and parks, has superior air quality and a family-friendly atmosphere. Madison also boasts the highest percentage of commuters or those who work from home: 38 percent of the population. The rent index here is approximately $1,364, according to Zillow.

The No. 2 city is Anchorage, Alaska, which has the best Air Quality Index ranking on the list at 29, where a lower number is better. The No. 3 city is in the South: Corpus Christi, Texas. Corpus Christi has the lowest number of gallons of fuel per commuter that are wasted, which indicates the city is not heavily congested with traffic.

Rochester, N.Y., ranks No. 4, which has one of the highest percentages of green commuters on the list. Greensboro, N.C., No. 5, also has great access to the outdoors and green commuting options.

Though air quality in Buffalo, N.Y., is climbing up compared to the rest of the cities on the list, the city has one of the highest percentages of residents who choose earth-friendly commuting options.

The No. 7 city, Cincinnati, Ohio, has a slightly higher Air Quality Index but the second-highest concentration of parks of the cities on the list.

In Minnesota, both of the Twin Cities made the list. St. Paul came in at No. 8 and Minneapolis at No. 10. The abundance of lakes and parks in the sister cities make getting outdoors easy. Their stats are nearly identical, though Minneapolis features more alternative commuter options.

In between the Minnesota cities, New Orleans manages to squeak in at the No. 9 spot.

These 10 cities have great air quality, easy access to commuting options that put less strain on the environment and plenty of access to parks and lakes.

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