San Jose named Bay Area's greenest, most sustainable city

A recent study from WalletHub says San Jose is the greenest city in the Bay Area and ranked 6th out of the top 100 most populous cities in the nation.  

There were four Bay Area cities in the top ten on this list, but it was San Jose that scored the highest when it comes to having cleaner and more sustainable living.  

"We’ve been working for years on lowering our carbon footprint, keeping our air clean and our water clean," said Colin Heyne, Public Information Officer for San Jose's Dept. of Transportation. 

Recent findings from research firm WalletHub say San Jose is the greenest city in the Bay Area, ranking higher than Fremont, Oakland and San Francisco. Cities were evaluated based on the environment, energy sources, lifestyle & policy and transportation. San Jose officials say their 2015 Vision Zero initiative is now yielding positive results. 

"That involves redesigning streets to make them safer, slower, to make bicyclists and pedestrians more visible. We’ve been doing education campaigns," Heyne said.   

Heyne says this time last year, there were a record 65 traffic deaths in San Jose and so far, there have been 47 traffic-related deaths this year. With four Bay Area cities ranked in the top ten, one environmentalist says improving transportation is still a major concern in the Bay Area.  

"We need to think of ways we can get people to live closer to where they work, where they go to school, give people options other than driving. Help build a network of place where we can walk, where we can bike, where we can take public transportation," said C.J. Gabbe, an Environmental Studies professor at Santa Clara University.     

Environmental advocates also say food sustainability needs more attention in Santa Clara County and throughout the Bay Area.  

"Where’s our food being transported from? How is it being transported? How is that adding to emissions? Food general issues around waste and what’s happening with food recovery are things that we could really do better on," said Lauren Weston, Executive Director of Acterra Action for a Healthy Planet.    

Both Weston and Gabbe recognize it can take years to implement sustainability changes but like San Jose, they believe we should work towards those goals in any way we can.