Springfield has been ranked fourth overall in an evaluation of medium-sized cities because of high marks for being an efficient, responsible and sustainable city. The evaluation included environmental initiatives, transportation infrastructure, zoning, building codes and waste management programs as well as improving access to open space, green jobs, affordable efficient housing and more. Previously known as the Green Guide, this project was undertaken to create a portrait of the progress that U.S. cities are making to move toward environmental stewardship and sustainability.
To determine which cities exhibit leadership roles as Smarter Cities, information was solicited from 655 cities of different population sizes from all around the country. The responses were combined with existing research from independent sources and then ranked across nine different sustainability criteria. The Natural Resources Defense Council has launched a new website http://www.smartercities.nrdc.org/cities/springfield-il, that present the results of that research along with profiles of the top-ranking cities including Springfield, Illinois.