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St. Paul and Mpls both make top 10 of "Greenest Cities" list

St. Paul ranks just ahead of Minneapolis in NerdWallet's list of the "Greenest Cities in America," but both cities crack the top 10.

The list ranks the county's 95 largest cities using an algorithm that accounts for the median Air Quality Index, number of parks per 10,000 residents, the percentage of commuters not using cars, and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. St. Paul clocks in 8th, Minneapolis 10th.

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According to the study, St. Paul gets the upper hand over Minneapolis because the capital city has significantly more parks per 10,000 residents -- 6.5 compared to 4.7 in the City of Lakes. That disparity more than makes up for the fact that more Minneapolitans walk, bike, carpool, or take public transit to work by a nearly 10 percent margin (37.4 percent compared to 28.3 percent in St. Paul).

Here's the rest of the top 10:

1. Madison
2. Anchorage
3. Corpus Cristi
4. Rochester, NY
5. Greensboro
6. Buffalo
7. Cincinnati
8. St. Paul
9. New Orleans
10. Minneapolis

Asked for her reaction to getting edged out by St. Paul, Kate Brickman, spokeswoman for Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, wasn't bitter about it.

"Environmental and sustainability issues are really important to Mayor Hodges, so we are proud to see both cities in the top 10!" she tells us.

Bob Moffitt, director of media relations for the American Lung Association in Minnesota, adds, "We're pleased by the Twin Cities high rankings, but not surprised."

"Any city that uses biodiesel in its snowplows or installs solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations in its parks is doing something right," Moffitt says. "Both our geography and our climate help to reduce air pollution in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, even as the number of people living in the Twin Cities has increased."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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