Portland, Ore., ranked as most sustainable city in U.S.

Portland, Ore., took top honors in SustainLane.com’s 2006 ranking of the sustainability of America’s 50 most populous cities. The rankings were based on a laundry list of the usual environmental factors: breathable air, clean drinking water, renewable energy, parks, green buildings, farmers’ markets, affordable housing, recycling, walkable communities, and, especially, public transit. Commuting was weighted more heavily in the rankings than other factors; nine of the bottom 10 cities have less than 5 percent transit ridership. San Francisco came in second, despite being 49th in affordability (ouch); Seattle rounded out the top three. Philadelphia, somewhat surprisingly, was No. 4; Chicago, Oakland, Calif., New York, Boston, Denver, and Minneapolis made the top 10. Number 50? Columbus, Ohio. Perhaps Columbus should discover some new sustainability strategies. Get it? Columbus? Oh, never mind.