In these cities, sustainability is not just a trend to hop on but a long-term commitment to improving the community.
Everybody has a part to play in the movement for environmental justice. From everyday habits, like composting and recycling, to long-term governmental reforms, creating more eco-friendly communities is a goal that’s attainable only through conscious effort and participation. There’s no question that individual actions promoting environmental welfare are important — and perhaps easier to implement in the short term. However, making strides on a broader scale through community-level advocacy and policy is also key to ensuring a sustainable future.
From choosing an eco-conscious vehicle (or minimizing driving altogether), to advocating for and implementing policies that encourage the use of renewable energy, there are some communities whose citizens go above and beyond to promote sustainability. In honor of Earth Day this April, the data science team at Insurify selected the city in each state with the strongest commitment to improving the ecosphere — not just on Earth Day, but every day of the year — as the recipients of the 2021 Greenest Cities Awards.
Selection Process for Insurify’s 2021 Greenest Cities Awards
To identify the greenest city in each state, the data scientists at Insurify, a site to compare home insurance quotes, referred to both proprietary and publicly accessible data. Cities were ranked based on a composite score of factors including air quality, driving rates, hybrid and electric vehicle prevalence, and whether city officials have established a commitment to renewable energy.
Insurify’s data scientists referred to their database of over 4 million car insurance applications to determine the share of hybrid or electric vehicles across U.S. cities. Driving rates were gleaned from Apple Maps Mobility Report data, which documents the volume of queries sent by drivers to Apple Maps over the past year in each city. Because driving traditional automobiles is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, cities with lower volumes of automobile use received a higher score.
Air quality statistics are from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Data reports. Cities with higher proportions of days where air quality was considered “good” over the past year (meaning that air pollution poses little or no risk) received a higher score. States with insufficient municipal data (Delaware, North Dakota, and Vermont) were excluded from the analysis.
Bonus points were awarded to cities that have made community-wide commitments to transition to 100% renewable energy no later than 2050, as reported by the Sierra Club.
Winners of Insurify’s 2021 Greenest Cities Awards
California: Santa Monica
Louisiana: New Orleans
Michigan: Ann Arbor
Missouri: Kansas City
New Hampshire: Manchester
New Jersey: Edison
New Mexico: Santa Fe
New York: Syracuse
North Carolina: Chapel Hill
Rhode Island: Cranston
South Carolina: Columbia
South Dakota: Sioux Falls
Utah: West Jordan
West Virginia: Charleston
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