While New York does not necessarily come to mind when thinking of green or environmentally friendly cities, various efforts initiated by different departments in city governments have made a positive impact – at least in environmentalism and sustainability. New York is reportedly less polluted than Los Angeles and Beijing, and the city is working on improving the air quality and pollution levels. Here are our picks for: 8 Top Eco-friendly Areas in NYC.
First on our list is Battery Park City – mainly because most of the buildings are efficient in electricity, with green systems in place. The air is clean, there are mandates in place to encourage sustainable construction, and it is all within a few minutes access to green fields, rollerblading paths, walking, bicycling, and other smaller parks.
Another alternative is Morningside Heights, the location of Columbia University. Morningside Heights is working on creating more environmentally friendly buildings and converting various structures from consuming gas and oil to clean-burning fuel, with over 35 properties reworked so far.
Our third choice is Harlem, which has gone the eco-friendly route, with even the Applebees becoming green friendly – with LED lights, energy-efficient appliances, and water-free urinals. Harlem has also built green-friendly affordable housing units, specializing in passive house development, and has many restaurants that dabble in environmental sustainability.
If you don’t care that much for Manhattan and prefer Queens as your ideal backdrop, Forest Hills is an attractive option. It has easy access to public transportation, numerous green spaces, and less automotive pollution as it typically has less traffic than other NYC areas. We also love the North Astoria neighborhood as an eco-friendly area. It has multiple green spaces that are waterfront, a public pool, a deep history, and a diverse community.
We cannot talk about green neighborhoods without mentioning the ones we love in Brooklyn, namely Park Slope, Clinton Hill, and Prospect Heights. While Park Slope is known as a hipster offshoot, the area has many green boutiques and restaurants and The Park Slope Civic Council, which offers many green initiatives. The famed Park Slope Food Corp also provides healthy and affordable foods to its members, and other organic grub can be found nearby, sourcing their fare from local farms, wineries, and butchers.
We have Clinton Hill, of course, where many environmentally conscious folks call home, as well as other green initiatives. This area houses the LEED Gold Certified Hill Center at St. Joseph College and hosts a lot of green boutiques and builders. By contrast, Prospect Heights is more family-oriented, generally quieter streets, and more suburban. The neighborhood has many green spaces, including Prospect Park, and has a community farm that is environmentally low impact.
Now that you have gone through our list of 8 top eco-friendly areas in NYC, let us know if there are other spots you think we should know about and highlight!