Best Places to Live

Eugene, OR

Population: 159,615
Jeff Adkins

With a nickname like the Emerald City, it comes as no surprise that Eugene, OR, is a leader in environmental initiatives. The city is famous for its 33 miles of bike tracks, and began a Pedestrian and Bike Strategic Plan in 2006 to improve the paths and make biking a more viable option for everyday transportation. Other unique programs include the University of Oregon's Outdoor Program, a “wilderness co-op” that helps participants organize and plan their own outdoor adventures. Renewable energy supplies 85 percent of Eugene's power, and in 2008 its hybrid public transport system The Emerald Express won an Honorable Mention for the annual Sustainable Transport award given by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

Get an in-depth look at the neighborhoods in Eugene, OR.