Weighing air quality and green transportation options, Madison took top marks because of its biking culture and its many beautiful parks.
“Madison earns the distinction of being the greenest city in the U.S., partly due to the fact that the city is literally ‘green’,” Sreekar Jasthi wrote on April 14. “Its 12.7 parks per 10,000 residents is the highest mark of all cities in the country. “The Madison area is home to over 15,000 acres of lakes and more than 200 miles of biking and hiking trails. In fact, the city boasts more bikes than cars, which no doubt contributes to the area’s great air quality.”
Also making the top of the list are Anchorage, Alaska, for its “remarkable air quality” and 11,000 acres of parkland, Corpus Christi, Tex., for water recreation and good commuter behavior, Rochester, N.Y., and Greensboro, N.C.
As an avid cyclist, I get to enjoy the vast network of bike trails and well maintained dairy roads in the countryside. The dedication to bicycle commuting is very strong here despite our tough northern winters and our recent “polar vortex”. Madisonians are tough! Boulder, Colorado and Madison both have a strong bike commuting ethic and the network of trails to support it. I’m lucky to have experienced these great cities.
When I first moved to Madison from Boulder (another gorgeous college town) one of the startling differences was the number of parks in the city. Large parks and “pocket parks” dot the landscape. This creates a strong sense of community as people gather to use the parks for social and recreational events. The benefits of a green landscape include increased health and gorgeous scenery.