A number of California cities were named as one of the top greenest cities in the nation by a pair of new rankings done by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Mother Nature Network.

Three Bay Area cities were ranked by the Mother Nature Network, including San Francisco (No. 2), Oakland (No. 4) and Berkeley (No. 7).

California cities made up six of the top 15 “Smarter Cities” by the Natural Resources Defense Council, including San Francisco at No. 2, Oakland at No. 4, San Jose at No. 5 and Sacramento at No. 7. San Diego (No. 11) and Los Angeles (No. 13) were also ranked.

San Francisco was credited as America’s solar energy leader and credited for its innovative recycling program by the Mother Nature Network.

Oakland was recognized for having the cleanest tap water in the country, its hydrogen-powered public transit and the country’s oldest wildlife refuge. Also as a local source for fresh, organic food.

“I am proud to say that Oakland has become a model for the nation in terms of greening a city,” Mayor Dellums said in a press release. “While addressing the challenges of global warming and environmental protection through smart planning, sustainable development, green jobs, easy access to transit, and healthy green homes and offices, Oakland has become a green leader.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council noted Oakland’s oil independence task force, inspired by an energy plan in Sweden.

Dellums credits Oakland’s environmental success to growing the green economy, creating green opportunities through training residents, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring a green environment.

The Mother Nature Rankings, found here, are as followed:
1. Portland, Ore.
2. San Francisco
3. Boston, Mass.
4. Oakland
5. Eugene, Ore.
6. Cambridge, Mass.
7. Berkeley
8. Seattle, Wash.
9. Chicago, Ill.
10. Austin, Tex.

The Natural Resources Defense Council “Smarter Cities” Rankings, found here, are as followed:
1. Seattle, Wash.
2. San Francisco
3. Portland, Ore.
4. Oakland
5. San Jose
6. Austin, Tex.
7. Sacramento
8. Boston, Mass.
9. Denver, Colo.
10. Chicago, Ill.

James Spencer can be reached at jspencer@publicceo.com