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Where does NYC fall on the list of most sustainable cities?

Hint: we're surprisingly not the worst!

Written by
Christina Izzo
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New York City certainly isn't the greenest city on the planet—it is the "concrete" jungle after all—but apparently, we're not doing as poorly on the sustainability front as one might think!

To mark Earth Day on April 22, LawnStarter has rolled out a new study comparing the 200 largest U.S. cities based on five sustainability-boosting criteria: the number of zero-energy buildings, alternative fuel stations, and greenhouse-gas emissions, among 26 total metrics.

It's not surprising that our rival to the west, California, made a strong showing, with six cities in the state being praised for their eco-forward infrastructure, green architecture and access to alternative-fuel stations (nearly 11 per square mile in San Francisco alone, according to the report.)

But good ol' Gotham was no slouch, coming in the top three of America's most sustainable cities thanks to its high transit score (go MTA!) and its numerous incentives supporting green and renewable energy, placing first in both Policy and Transportation. (Granted, our pollution score wasn't exactly pretty, topping out at a whopping score of 164 out of a possible 200. Plant more trees, Adams.)

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Earth Day in NYC

Here are the top 10 most sustainable cities in the U.S., per LawnStarter's report:
1.    San Francisco, CA
2.    Boston, MA
3.    New York, NY
4.    Oakland, CA
5.    San Diego, CA
6.    San Jose, CA
7.    Seattle, WA
8.    Baltimore, MD
9.    Sacramento, CA
10.  Los Angeles, CA

As for the least sustainable locales? Three car-dependent Texas cities dominate that lineup, with multiple showings from Arizona and Florida as well as a Jersey mention, thanks to high-excess fuel consumption, high levels of landfill waste per capita, etc.

And the top 10 least sustainable cities in the U.S. are:
1     Mesquite, TX
2     Pasadena, TX
3     Grand Prairie, TX
4     Surprise, AZ
5     Hialeah, FL
6     Thornton, CO
7     Paterson, NJ
8     Pembroke Pines, FL
9     Shreveport, LA
10   Peoria, AZ

With New York's plans to go officially carbon-neutral by 2050, we're looking to claim that top spot soon, California.

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