Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ann Arbor ranked among top cities by “Smarter Cities”

Ann Arbor was named among the top 15 Medium Sized cities by “Smarter Cities,” an affiliate of the Natural Resources Defense Counsel. Smarter Cities ranked Ann Arbor twelfth in the nation, based on green living standards.

Cities were judged on the following factors: air quality; energy production and conservation; environmental standards and participation; green building; green space; recycling; transportation; standard of living, and water quality and conservation. In addition to this honor, our city was also ranked fifth among the top medium sized cities for Environmental Standards and Participation.

This honor recognizes many of the things that draw new residents to our city. Ann Arbor real estate agents keep busy showing houses and condos to new residents, who are drawn by our universities, businesses, schools, and quality of life.

The Smarter Cities study had this to say about our city:

“Much of Ann Arbor, Michigan's environmental progress owes its origins to the handiwork of grassroots organizations. In fact, Recycle Ann Arbor, a nonprofit organization that launched Michigan's first curbside recycling program in 1978, is still handling the city's waste diversion. It also manages the Environmental House, a resource center of green building and energy-efficiency in the community.

Remarkably for a city of a little over 100,000 residents, Ann Arbor hosts over 1,000 nonprofits, many of them green-minded. The city is working to maintain the city's surrounding rural countryside and farmland (one of their most important goals is to create a self-sufficient food supply) and to prevent urban sprawl. The Greenbelt Millage was overwhelmingly passed by voters in November 2003, and increases green space through the purchase of additional parkland as well as development rights easements on working family farms. In addition to encouraging dense urban development and local food production, this strategy improves drinking water quality, protects farmers, and enhances wildlife habitat. Ann Arbor is known for its abundant tree cover, hence its name.”

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