A dozen US cities (and not the ones you’d expect) are taking the fight against climate change to the streets


Green city initiatives are spreading across the nation


By Eric Mack



Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Here brotherly love means sharing the fruits of brotherly labor.  Those in the know see the city as a leader in urban agriculture, keeping two dozen community gardens in trust to safeguard the land from development. But that's just a start – 465 community vegetable gardens and over a thousand flower gardens are maintained with the help of 618 families around the city. It's estimated that over $1.5 million pounds of food have been produced from Philadelphia's urban gardens.

Austin, Texas – A green leader going beyond the typical carbon-cutting policies by marketing, lobbying, and promoting one specific product: plug-in hybrids. The city and a few others are campaigning to convince consumers, government agencies and anyone else who will listen to purchase plug-in hybrids when they finally hit showroom floors in order to create  a market big enough to keep the vehicles from being shelved.

Sundry Notables
- Road rage is a foreign concept in parts of Arlington County, Virginia – that's because about 40 percent of residents commute on public transit and another 10 percent or so hoof it, thanks to investments in transit service to Washington, D.C. and smart land-use planning around transit stops. Other cities and states like Texas, New Jersey and Klamath Falls, Oregon are also making big investments in tapping whatever renewable resources are available. Not all locations are ideal for wind or solar, but more communities are taking advantage of what they do have at their disposal. The Lone Star state has become a leader in wind power generation, unlikely Jersey has made an aggressive solar push and succeeded in doubling their sun-powered capacity in just two years, and Klamath Falls surveyed their options and tapped into the area's geothermal resources. Up next, look for Nevada to be transformed from the Silver State to the “Solar State.”

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