Tale of two cities: sustainability trailblazers in America’s heartland


From Leon Kaye, The Guardian UK

Milwauke, Wisconsin is an example of a city that has transformed in recent years. Image source: Joseph Sohm/Visions of America/CORBIS

Discussions about sustainable cities and green business in the US often focus on New York, San Francisco and Seattle. It is easy to see why: Seattle and San Francisco have enjoyed their green reputations for decades and have entrepreneurs who combine hi-tech with green tech. New York’s ambitious mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has focused on green initiatives that have inspired a wide range of green businesses and projects.

But medium-sized and small cities in North America certainly hold their own and many host a thriving green business culture. One advantage such cities have over the titans on America’s coasts is a lower cost of doing business, thanks to far more affordable housing and commercial space. Local governments that are not afraid to experiment and reach out to businesses such as green builders or clean energy startups are also a boost towards the development of a sustainable business culture. Ample low-cost factory space left behind by manufacturing companies that closed operations, or moved offshore, can also lead to new opportunities. Two cities in America’s midwest offer examples of where businesses committed to sustainability are taking off.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian.