San Francisco named most sustainable city; Houston least

San Francisco, Portland, Ore., Berkeley, Calif., and Seattle took the top four spots in a new ranking of 25 U.S. cities based on sustainability practices. Bay Area green group SustainLane created the list after scrutinizing the metropolises based on 12 criteria, including air quality, transportation, green building, and land use. Detroit was second to last and Houston the big loser — “The city was built on oil and it shows,” said the report. “Portland and San Francisco and other cities are really achieving things that are incredible,” said SustainLane’s Warren Karlenzig, pointing in particular to their efforts to expand use of renewable energy. Though Karlenzig says the group’s efforts were aimed at “celebrat[ing] cities’ successes” and providing a means by which city officials and citizens could compare their green efforts, some took the rankings a bit more seriously. Said No. 2-ranked Portland’s mayor Tom Potter, “[L]et’s throw down a green gauntlet.”