Portland created almost 20,00 clean-energy jobs in 2007 — more than any other city in the country — and more than 1 percent of Oregon's 1.9 million jobs are related to the clean energy economy, the highest percentage in the nation. The state ranks third in providing environmentally friendly manufacturing jobs.
Like many other cities on this list, Portland is experiencing high unemployment, but the state is fighting joblessnes with sustainability. About half of the city's power now comes from renewable energy sources. In addition, part of a $50 million greening initiative is being spent to plant 88,000 trees and 43 acres of rooftop projects. Plus, Portland is consistently rated the most sustainable city in America. It boasts 200 miles of walking and bicycling trails, free light rail, free parking for electric cars and 50 LEED-certified buildings.