Biased Study Ranks Nashville Least Eco-Friendly City in America

A recent study published by a travel blog says that Nashville is the least eco-friendly city in America.

Despite being one of America’s fastest-growing cities, ParkSleepFly says Nashville’s lack of bike paths makes it non-eco-friendly.

“Nashville is the lowest-scoring city when it comes to its air pollution (14.3μg/m³) and also scores poorly for its cycle path infrastructure, with just 0.6 miles of protected pathways,” the blog said.

But the study, which rates Portland, Oregon as the most eco-friendly city and New York City as the third most eco-friendly city, is not exactly scientific.

For example, the study measured cities’ eco-friendliness in part by the “percentage of the total hotels listed on that have been designated ‘Travel Sustainable properties.'” is a hotel room booking website. What qualifies as a “Travel Sustainable” property remains unexplained.

Using a tool called light pollution map (, the study ranked cities by “artificial brightness in the city center.”

It also used a GPS company’s traffic index to measure traffic congestion.

Nashville was also dinged due to its residents’ propensity for driving, instead of walking, cycling or taking public transportation to work.

It is unclear how each factor measured in the study was weighed into the overall score of each city, which was rated on a 10-point scale. (Nashville scored a 3.46 out of 10, while top-ranked Portland scored a 7.50 and third-ranked New York scored a 6.50).

So, while New York allegedly has a higher percentage of eco-friendly hotels than Nashville, the study did not explain how that affected the overall score for the cities.

“A list of 50 of the most visited cities in the U.S. was studied, with any that didn’t have full comparable data for each factor being removed,” the study said of its methodology. “The remaining cities were then analyzed on the following factors, with each one being given a normalized score out of 10 before an average of these scores was taken.”

The study does not define how it “normalized” each city’s score.

_ _ _

Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].




Related posts

6 Thoughts to “Biased Study Ranks Nashville Least Eco-Friendly City in America”

  1. mikey whipwreck

    who cares?

  2. Cannoneer2

    What’s biased about the low ranking regarding air pollution? That’s the natural and expected result from catering to businesswhiners crying about “unnecessary, burdensome” environmental regulations.

  3. william delzell

    Sadly, I believe this negative assessment. Nashville desperately needs more mass transit, sidewalks, bike-ways, and other green-space instead of squandering more money and energy on more parking lots and freeways. With the price of gas soaring with no end in site, Nashvillians would do well to get their city and surrounding metropolitan area to give people incentives to leave their cars home and to acquire more bus and rail service to relieve our metropolitan area of gridlock and pollution. Shame on Tennessee!

    1. 83ragtop50

      I would like the city to give incentives to leave to those who want to make it like New York or Los Angeles.

  4. Laurie Kelly

    This is great news. Hopefully the ParkSleepFly blog is widely read in Blue Cities and States. No need to move to Nashville . . . we’re full.

    1. 83ragtop50

      Took the words right out of my mouth. How great it is to know that this “world-class” blog (anyone ever heard of them?) disses Nashville. I think that the bike lanes that have been carved out of the streets causes safety hazards, Right behind that are the city buses that strangle traffic to carry 1 or 2 people.