A green label for the Capital Region

The Capital Region ranked #10 in a recent "Green Cities Index" of 43 metro areas. (The index was compiled by American City Business Journals, the parent of the Biz Review.)

The Cap Region's top 10 spot was largely the result of its scores for "green" jobs per capita (#1), commuting time (#6) and renewable energy (#7). (Numbers from all the categories.)

Number one on the list was Portland, Oregon. Capital Region frenemy Austin was #4.

(Thanks, Katelyn!)


This surprises me considering our ever expanding landfill. Our waste management doesn't seem very green to me.

As one of those people with a Green Job, I say "hooray!"

As a person working in a "green" job and happening to currently live in Albany, I have to laugh at this post. The last thing I think of when I think of Albany is a "green" city LOL!!!

Austin is our frenemy?

Innovative things are definitely happening here, but this still surprised me. On a personal level, I don't think the Albany area is a particularly friendly environment for green-minded people. Moving here was a big adjustment for me after living in places like Ithaca and Boulder, Colo. Do any other people feel that way?

Having recently returned to Albany after living for years in much greener pastures (like Ithaca, San Francisco, and Iowa City), I totally agree with Naomi. When I repatriated to The Capital District, I was amazed by the generalized lack of concern for environmental issues, the incredible sprawl of it all, and the region’s nearly absolute automotive dependency (that could easily rival the myopic car culture of Southern California). This green designation confuses me, as well, but indices like these can be skewed by any number of factors.

How can a city that doesn't have decent, working, public transportation be considered green? The CDTA bus service is laughable. There are very few park and rides, the express bus from Schenectady is hardly "express", and if you're trying to get from Ballston Spa to Schenectady, there is a stretch in Glenville in which the bus lines don't connect.

In addition, it takes 2 hours and 3 busses to get from Lansingburg in Troy to Rennselaer via bus because you MUST go through Albany.

I'll get off my soapbox now, but aside from the wonderful Mohawk-Hudson bikeway, there is very little "green" about this area.

I never see anything much positive about the CDTA, but let me sing their praises for once. I can't speak about getting around the whole region, but for getting around within Albany they are mostly reliable, on time and cheap. Most of the operators are professional and are friendly when you get on or off.
I grew up in England, a place you might assume had better public transit. But the buses were more expensive, less reliable, and you were a lot more likely to get stabbed or beaten up whilst riding them. So be thankful, folks!

The only people who don't appreciate the bus service around these parts either live in smaller urban areas (ballston spa, lansingburgh) or haven't tried out the mass transit in other similar-sized cities and even some larger ones (Detroit would KILL for our cdta system).

The landfill comment is a valid point, but other factors are quite positive. For example - there are an abundance of highly walkable places to live and work in this area, the problem is trying to convince our car-addicted suburbanites of this.

Having grown up in the Capital Region and a fierce advocate of the region, and specifically the City of Albany, this is great news. With that said, you have to take any survey with a grain of salt. I find the "green jobs" category suspect. While GE and the Nano-tech developments of the region are providing a good foundation for green jobs, I have a feeling the large DEC and Parks/Rec state-workforce skewed this number. Also, being the Capital, state government has funded a lot of LEED buildings in the area, which may have helped push us over the top. However, despite the "adequate" public transit, uncoordinated waste management in the region, and growing suburban sprawl, our cities, especially Albany, offer us wonderful opportunities to be green and minimize our impact on the planet, and the region as a whole has a wonderful and diverse number of open spaces (hopefully, we keep it this way, as sprawl finds less options to spread). Long story short, I think we can really do this survey justice by enhancing Albany and cleaning up its unfair image, which will help keep college students in the city after graduation, entice suburbanites who are urban leaning, and help "green" trends to snowball.

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