Shock Horror: Berkeley Is Both Well Run and Supremely Green


Berkeley is a soft target for those who don’t like the city. All those “delusional counter-cultural has-beens” running the place. As one of my readers recently put it:

“I cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to live in Berkeley unless they like dirty college towns with old hippies, violence, and crazies everywhere.”

I happen to like it here and am therefore delighted to share two very positive reports on the place they sometimes call “Berzekeley”.

First up, Berkeley was just ranked 7th in Popular Science‘s league table of America’s 50 Greenest Cities. San Francisco places second and Oakland fourth so overall the Bay Area has delivered extremely well.

Top 10 Greenest Cities

1. Portland, Ore.

2. San Francisco, Calif.

3. Boston, Mass.

4. Oakland, Calif.

5. Eugene, Ore.

6. Cambridge, Mass.

7. Berkeley, Calif.

8. Seattle, Wash.

9. Chicago, Ill.

10. Austin, Tex.

San Francisco’s solar powered roofs (pictured above left) and Oakland’s hydrogen powered buses (above right) are cited in the survey as examples of how these cities made the cut.

Secondly, loyal reader Toady pointed me in the direction of a recent op-ed piece in the San Francisco Chronicle that concludes that, while many people have the impression the city is run by a bunch of unqualified lunatics, the reality is that Berkeley is one of the best run cities in California. And I quote:

“… Ask Standard & Poor’s, the financial services company, what it thinks about Berkeley … Last month, the firm upgraded the city’s bonds to AA, which puts it among the top 5% of American municipalities. While cities across the country are watching their credit ratings plummet, Berkeley has convinced the green-eyeshade crowd that it can manage taxpayers’ dollars.”

So in the spirit of all this good news about my adopted home, I offer you some newly listed homes for sale in this fair city. All are famously welcome here — so have a browse:

2208A Derby Street: 3/1 Craftsman condo with original details. Price: $630,000.

14 The Uplands: 5/4.5 spacious fixer in Claremont neighborhood. Price: $1,250,000.


291 Alvarado Road: 4/3.5 recently built Craftsman style home with views (pictured above). Price: $1,595,000.

1314 Dwight Way: 3/2 “Eichler-style oasis” with entertainment spaces and large yard. Price: $675,000.

[Photo credits: solar roof by Kris Holland; zero emission bus by Graham Murdoch.]