Best Places to Live

Portland, OR

Population: 612,206
Michael D. Tedesco

Portland, OR's reputation for green growth didn't sprout overnight – it owes much of its green prowess to good prior planning.

Back in 1973, the city established the nation's first statewide growth program designed to limit urban sprawl. The program ensured that much of Portland's farmland and green spaces remained untouched, and the result today is more than 92,000 acres of green space for outdoor recreation and a thriving farm-to-table movement in local restaurants.

The city also took the initiative to reduce greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, and it now relies on hydroelectric sources and solar power for 44 percent of its energy. Portland's residents do their fair share to ensure that it remains a model green city; 13 percent rely on public transportation to commute to work while 11 percent carpool, and the city boasts a 60 percent recycling rate.

See how Portland's urban developments are eco-friendly.