Communities & STAR
The path to sustainability is different for every community and each unique place will approach the STAR Community Rating System in a different manner. Generally, local leaders use the rating system to assess how sustainable they are, set targets for moving ahead and measure progress along the way.
WHO IS INVOLVED?
The STAR Pilot Communities are a special set of innovators and leaders, representing 19 states, the District of Columbia, and 4 Canadian provinces. The 30+ pilot communities signed on to test and evaluate STAR in the fall of 2012 and are currently working towards the first ever STAR Community Ratings. Scroll down to read a few highlights from their work. In late 2013, STAR Communities will be releasing public reports dedicated to each of the pilot communities. These "home pages" will provide a description of the communities work in sustainability, contact information and a report highlighting their progress in the rating system.
Informal use of the rating system is common, yet difficult to track. The STAR Community Rating System is downloaded from our website approximately 125 times per month by a mix of local government leaders, universities, consultants, state and federal agencies, nonprofits and other stakeholders.
HOW ARE COMMUNITIES USING STAR?
IN completely reformatted its annual report design and structure in order to
incorporate STAR’s evaluation measures for tracking purposes. View their
sustainability office’s home page
and the updated report for 2012.
- Lee County, FL built their entire public engagement process, assessment and plan around the STAR framework. View the Office of Sustainability home page, their Sustainability Assessment, and a nicely done YouTube completeLee video that features a diversity of community advocates and partners.
- Tucson, AZ adopted a new General and Sustainability Plan in July 2013 that integrated STAR metrics into each chapter’s implementation section.
- The Sustainable DC Plan was developed using the STAR framework. Staff from the District’s Department of Environment and Office of Planning met with STAR Communities staff at the onset of the process to organize community meetings around the rating system’s goal areas and key objectives.
- The City of Evanston, IL brings together local environmental groups twice a year to share their ongoing work and discuss opportunities for collaboration. City staff recently presented their work on the STAR Community Rating System and asked the organizations to contribute information about their projects and programs that would add to Evanston's STAR score and create a more complete picture of all the sustainability efforts going on in the community. See the article here.
QUOTES FROM STAR PILOT COMMUNITIES
STAR allows us to fairly evaluate Austin’s strengths as well as understand our challenges. At the same time, STAR will provide the resources to learn from peer cities across North America about their successful sustainability programs and strategies. STAR offers the chance to put Austin’s green reputation to the test by comparing our outcomes to nationally established benchmarks. - Dylan Siegler, Sustainability Manager, City of Austin Office of Sustainability
The goal areas defined within the STAR Rating System are vital to us as we continue to build the narrative around why sustainability is important for Indianapolis. The STAR system is a tool to help our leadership make informed decisions as they chart a course toward making Indianapolis one of the country’s most sustainable cities. - Lori Miser, Director, Dept. of Public Works, City of Indianapolis
The District of Columbia used the STAR Community Rating System to help create metrics for our new sustainability plan, Sustainable DC. Having the ability to benchmark against other cities over time will be invaluable in determining our success and leadership nationally. Before STAR, this would not have been possible. - Dan Guilbeault, Policy Analyst, District Department of the Environment