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Greenest Neighborhoods In Philadelphia

(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

Green neighborhoods are springing up all over in The City of Brotherly Love, with budding projects for mixed-use developments in various neighborhoods seeking Platinum Neighborhood Development certification by LEED, one of the highest honors in the field of sustainability that a building, project or group of buildings can achieve.

With sustainable housing choices, abundant access to public transportation, high scores for walkability or getting around by bicycle, sustainable food systems, community gardens or open green spaces, these Philly neighborhoods stand out among the greenest in Philadelphia.

Rittenhouse Square

Rittenhouse Square and the surrounding Center City area abound with public transportation options ranging from trains, the subway, buses and trolleys to facilitate economical, sustainable travel in and around the metro area. Want to get some exercise while you get around? No problem. According to Walk Score, which ranks Philadelphia as the fourth most walkable city in the U.S., Center City, including the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, is hands down the place to be if you desire to live in one of Philly’s most walkable — and most bikeable – neighborhoods.

Residents in Rittenhouse Square can easily walk or bike to find fresh, locally grown and organic products and services in one of the area’s many shops and markets that focus on sustainability, like Arcadia Boutique, Se Va, Mi Cumbia Organica, Food and Friends and Rittenhouse Farmers Market. Many of the area’s restaurants provide organic, fresh and locally grown and vegan choices, including Pumpkin and Hip City Veg.

Even though Rittenhouse Square is in the heart of urban Philadelphia, residents can enjoy plenty of green space in local parks and gardens, including innovative spaces like the Peco Green Roof Tour.

Bella Vista

This South Philly Bella Vista neighborhood features the oldest and largest outdoor market in the country, the South Ninth Street Curb Market, AKA the Italian Market. With grocery shops, cafes, bakeries, restaurants and more, the marketplace is easily navigated by foot or on bike for shopping fresh and local; a virtual cornucopia for the environmentally conscious, organic and vegan shoppers and diners.

Chestnut Hill

The Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood of Chestnut Hill epitomizes the definition of a sustainable community with access to public transportation, walkable communities, mixed-use development and a blend of economic households. With local groups and businesses interested in furthering sustainable practices, residents enjoy green spaces and easy access to locally grown foods and sustainable products and services. At the annual Chestnut Hill Home and Garden Show, the organization Green in Chestnut Hill, or GRINCH, organizes a segment of the event dedicated to green vendors and projects.

Many Chestnut Hill restaurants and bakeries support local farms through collaborative efforts to buy local and fresh from area farmers. Green spaces include local not-for-profit Morris Arboretum, which provides Philadelphia-area residents with many environmental education and outreach services.

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Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.