Top cities for green jobs

And once those college students get that environmental degree, where might they go for their green job? New York City, San Francisco, Boston/Cambridge, Detroit and Portland, Ore., according to a story from the Daily Green, which looked at a variety of sources, green job surveys and rankings to compile its list.

Clean Edge ranks the New York area third among U.S. metro areas for job creation, while EarthLab foundation ranks New York as the second greenest city in the country due to its low carbon output. The city has also launched initiatives to improve air quality and increase energy efficiency.

And while California had the most clean-energy jobs in 2008, according to the New York Times, many of those jobs are in San Francisco. Clean Edge ranks the area as the No. 1 metro area for clean technology jobs, and the city appears on a number of “Top 10 Green Cities” lists, what with it diverting 70 percent of its municipal waste from landfills and all. Nearly a dozen big construction projects have applied for LEED certification there, and voters approved $100 million in revenue bonds to go toward renewable energy.

Boston has been named “best walking city” by Prevention magazine, has had a climate protection plan since 2002, and wind power is its third largest fuel source. New buildings there have to be built to LEED standards, and most city vehicles are electric or operate on biofuel.

Green isn’t the first color that comes to mind when one thinks of Detroit, but federal Department of Energy green-tech grants are intended to fund factories that can put skilled auto workers to use in the clean technology sector, such as in electric and hybrid vehicle production or manufacturing wind and solar systems.

And Portland is practically a no-brainer. With great bike lanes, free parking for electric vehicles, dozens of LEED-certified buildings and one of the nation’s highest rates of public transportation use, Portland tends to lead the green front. The Pew Charitable Trusts said Oregon was the top performer in creating clean-energy economy jobs, with nearly 20,000 of them in 2007, many of them in Portland.