Institute Says Eugene Is Greenest City in U.S.

Eugene has topped this year’s “Green Cities in America” list, according to the Green Guide Institute, an independent media service focusing on environmental and health issues.

The annual awards are given to cities that provide healthy, low-pollution living spaces for their citizens.

The institute based its selection on a number of criteria, including water quality, energy use, air quality, environmental policy and transportation.

The institute also surveyed officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Green Building Council in determining the list.

It surveyed 251 metropolitan areas with populations of 100,000 or more.

Jan Bohman, community relations director for the city of Eugene, said the city was honored to receive the award.

“We’re very, very pleased and proud,” she said.

She said the city has been engaged in many environmentally conscious programs, and it was satisfying for its efforts to be nationally recognized.

“The city’s been working hard on a number of sustainability efforts,” she said. “It’s really gratifying to have that confirmed by an objective, outside source.”

The institute cited the works of Lane Transit District and the Eugene Water and Electric Board in making its decision.

In particular, EWEB’s energy conservation and renewable energy programs were considered.

Rounding out the top five green cities were, in descending order, Austin, Texas; Portland, Ore.; St. Paul, Minn.; and Santa Rosa, Calif.