Environment & Science

National environmental group finds sustainable SoCal cities

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Three Southland cities have earned spots in a national environmental group’s ranking for sustainability.
KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports.

For its smarter cities project, the Natural Resources Defense Council used federal data and some voluntary surveys to judge 10 criteria for sustainability for large, medium, and small cities. Mission Viejo in Orange County scored among small cities for recycling, efforts to develop affordable housing, and energy conservation. Among mid-sized cities, Irvine ranked for green building and green space – that city also won kudos for 282 miles of on-road bicycle lanes.

Northern California’s San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and Sacramento all placed higher than L.A.in the big cities category. But Los Angeles earned 13th place in the country for maintaining steady water use as the population has boomed, and for setting renewable energy goals. Still, the NRDC noted that L.A. emits about as much greenhouse gas as all of Sweden.