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San Francisco named greenest city

San Francisco came in number one, but Vancouver was one of seven cities to score high on a new green cities index.

San Francisco came in number one, but Vancouver was one of seven cities to score high on a new green cities index.

Individuals interested in relocating to a greener urban environment can consult a recently released index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Siemens.

The index ranked 27 metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada in nine categories, such as land use and transport systems. San Francisco was ranked the number one greenest city overall, followed by Vancouver, British Columbia, New York City, Seattle, and Denver.

San Francisco was ranked number one in the waste management category, with a perfect score of 100. New York City was ranked first for land use and transport, and Vancouver was ranked number one for carbon dioxide emissions and air quality. Denver led the pack in energy policy and environmental governance. The only city to rank number one in a single category and not make the overall top 10 was Calgary, Alberta, which captured the top spot for water use.

The index noted Canadian cities outperformed U.S. cities when wealth was factored in. The average per capita GDP of the five Canadian cities considered is $7,000 lower than the U.S. cities' average, but the Canadian cities all rank higher than their GDPs indicate they should.

Chief executive officer of the Urban Land Institute, Patrick Phillips, recently said moving trends indicate more people are looking for eco-friendly, high-density environments to call home.