The Greenest Cities in America, Ranked

green city
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The U.S. is turning into a nation of city dwellers—82 percent of us live in cities, according to the U.N,  and the numbers are only growing. That’s compared to 82 percent now.

In the concrete jungle, green spaces and environmentally friendly practices are more important than ever. And research shows that urban developments that value green space—such as parks and forest land—have lower crime rates and higher economic prosperity. (Green spaces also improve residents’ mental and physical health.)

WalletHub collected data on America’s 100 largest cities to see which was the most environmentally friendly, based on 26 key indicators—including greenhouse gas emissions, percentage of green space, and the number of commuters who drive. 

West Coast states led the pack, with the Midwest and South lagging behind. (Louisiana is home to America's least green major city.) Click through the slideshow below for the 50 greenest cities in America.

01 Garland
50. Garland, TX. Total score: 49.96. Rankings (1 = best, 100 = worst): Environment: 27. Transportation: 57. Energy sources: 43. Lifestyle & policy: 97. City of Garland
02 Chesapeake
49. Chesapeake, VA. Total score: 50.36. Rankings (1 = best, 100 = worst): Environment: 1. Transportation: 96. Energy sources: 88. Lifestyle & policy: 77. Getty Images
03 San Antonio
48. San Antonio, TX. Total score: 50.77. Rankings (1 = best, 100 = worst): Environment: 47. Transportation: 56. Energy sources: 38. Lifestyle & policy: 68. Getty Images
04 Colorado Springs
=46. Colorado Springs, CO. Total score: 50.83. Rankings (1 = best, 100 = worst): Environment: 58. Transportation: 78. Energy sources: 29. Lifestyle & policy: 40. Getty Images
05 Indianapolis
=46. Indianapolis, IN. Total score: 50.83. Rankings (1 = best, 100 = worst): Environment: 17. Transportation: 70. Energy sources: 51. Lifestyle & policy: 63. Getty Images
06 Phoenix
45. Phoenix, AZ. Total score: 50.97. Rankings (1 = best, 100 = worst): Environment: 74. Transportation: 47. Energy sources: 37. Lifestyle & policy: 49. Getty Images
07 Lincoln
44. Lincoln, NE. Total score: 51.08. Rankings (1 = best, 100 = worst): Environment: 40. Transportation: 48. Energy sources: 50. Lifestyle & policy: 73. Getty Images
08 Aurora
43. Aurora, CO. Total score: 51.23. Rankings (1 = best, 100 = worst): Environment: 83. Transportation: 29. Energy sources: 29. Lifestyle & policy: 72. Getty Images
09 Greensboro
42. Greensboro, NC. Total score: 51.32. Rankings (1 = best, 100 = worst): Environment: 20. Transportation: 33. Energy sources: 70. Lifestyle & policy: 65. Getty Images
10 Philadelphia
41. Philadelphia, PA. Total score: 51.5. Rankings (1 = best, 100 = worst): Environment: 34. Transportation: 20. Energy sources: 68. Lifestyle & policy: 29. Getty Images
11 El Paso
40. El Paso, TX. Total score: 51.55. Rankings (1 = best, 100 = worst): Environment: 12. Transportation: 50. Energy sources: 63. Lifestyle & policy: 64. Getty Images