How ‘Green’ Are the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul?

How ‘Green’ Are the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul?

If you’re considering a move to the Twin Cities, whether for relocation or just a change of scenery, you’re not alone. A bit of research online would likely show that the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis in Minnesota have entered a strong seller’s market in terms of residential real estate. This equates to a significant ebb and flow of residents throughout Twin Cities communities.

Housing inventory remains at a record low, but there is plenty of movement with residents transitioning to and from the Twin Cities area. The Twin Cities are enjoying a healthy housing market and an influx of transplants to the ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes’, but what are the new citizens thinking about the health of their new homestead? New Minnesotans maintain hope that the earth-friendly, nature-centric cities are doing their due diligence in keeping it green.

We checked out some of the facts and resources to find out just how ‘green’ (or not green) the Twin Cities are and compiled some of the highlights here. If you are environmentally conscious about where you live and the Twin Cities are in your crosshairs, read on to decide whether to pull the trigger.


To kick things off, we are delighted to applaud Minneapolis, MN for earning the prestigious merit of being voted the Cleanest City in America by the readership of Travel and Leisure Magazine in 2010. Efforts have continued up through the present, as well.

With nicknames such as “City by Nature” and “City of Lakes”, it should come as no surprise that Minneapolis takes their environmental efforts very seriously, promoting programs such as their Green Initiatives. Furthermore, their 100-plus block “Downtown Improvement District” continues to pursue a pristine environment with the help of the dedicated ‘Clean Ambassadors’.

Part of what makes Minneapolis such a beautiful and ‘green’ city is the centralized focus on sustainability and cleanliness for homes and buildings. Prudence does, after all, dictate that the efforts for the majority of the green initiatives be focused on the biggest, most prominent part of the city – the structures.

As the largest city in Minnesota, and in such close proximity to the state’s capitol, Minneapolis plays a role model of sorts for how to keep things green across the state. LEED certified building protocols and sustainable energy practices is a top priority for public buildings and housing, with many private businesses supporting the movement. The city even reaches out to participate in similar efforts for its capitol city neighbor, St. Paul.

We’re pretty convinced that Minneapolis is indeed green to the core, but it even extends to the community, with the huge eco-focused retail store, ‘Moss Envy’ calling Minneapolis home. New arrivals in Minneapolis who are hoping the ‘City by Nature’ lives up to its name won’t be disappointed.

St. Paul

We wouldn’t call them the ‘Twin Cities’ if St. Paul didn’t enjoy the influence and participation of its neighbor, Minneapolis. We already know that Minneapolis has set a precedent for being green in Minnesota, but it is it safe to presume the spirit carries over to St. Paul? Judging by what we’ve seen in our research, it sure is.

Not only does the ‘big’ twin sister city’s (it’s one-third larger than St. Paul) community pitch in with support for their beloved capitol city, but many of St. Paul’s governmental eco-efforts are driven by workers commuting in from Minneapolis. Furthermore, many of Minneapolis’ programs involve contributions to the beautification of St. Paul’s urban areas, green building campaigns and sustainability protocols.

That’s not to say St. Paul doesn’t have plenty of its own programs in place. Again, the most apparent representation of St. Paul’s ‘go green’ movement is focused on buildings. The reason, according to the University of Minnesota’s breakdown of the Sustainable Building Policy, is because “Buildings use one-third of our total energy, two-thirds of our electricity, one-eighth of our water, and transform land that provides valuable ecological services.”

So after a pretty solid review, it appears to us that the beautiful Twin Cities of Minnesota are indeed ‘Green’ thanks to well-supported awareness campaigns and fiercely dedicated environmental efforts. New or prospective residents of St. Paul looking for more  details on the services and amenities to which St. Paul applies its green activities can find a wealth of information in Frederick Melo’s article on the Twin Cities website as well.