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Just released! Expanded LEED v4.1 for Cities and Communities

This past summer, STAR Communities announced that it had formally merged with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). STAR certification programs, services and staff have now transitioned into the LEED for Cities and Communities program at USGBC.  For most of 2018, we have been building a new, expanded rating system and certification program that includes... Read More

STAR’s Merger with USGBC

The STAR Communities nonprofit organization merged with the U.S. Green Building Council earlier this year. This blog post is intended to share frequently asked questions.  What happened to STAR Full Access subscriptions with the merger? All active STAR subscribers have become USGBC members at the Silver level. For a full list of Silver level member benefits: https://new.usgbc.org/benefits/silver... Read More

Cedar Rapids: Certified 4-STAR Community

After almost a year of work, Cedar Rapids has achieved a Certified 4-STAR Community Rating from STAR Communities. This is a significant accomplishment recognizing years of commitment from city leaders and staff. Sustainability is more than a buzz word — it is a fundamental component of strong communities that endure and thrive. Sustainability is woven into... Read More

Q&A Series: Durham’s Sustainability Roadmap Outlines a Path to Becoming a World-Class Sustainability City

In 2017, Durham, NC developed an interdepartmental sustainability team with the goal of making Durham a world-class sustainability city. In June of 2017 the City published its first Sustainability Report and in November received a 4-STAR Community Rating. These efforts have led the City to develop a Sustainability Roadmap, which outlines goals and strategies to... Read More

Corinth, TX Achieves a 3-STAR Community Rating

City Recognized for Sustainability Leadership Corinth, TX – STAR Communities announced today that the City of Corinth, TX has been awarded a 3-STAR Community Rating for national leadership in sustainability. The city is the 74th in the nation to receive recognition from STAR Communities for its participation in the STAR Community Rating System (STAR), which... Read More

Just Released! STAR Resilience Guide

Resilience: it’s a hot topic on the minds of local leaders these days. Whether it’s a rust belt city dealing with economic shocks from changing industries, a west coast town battling droughts and wildfires, or a coastal county responding to rising sea levels, cities and counties across the United States are increasingly aware of the... Read More

Case Study: Integrating Sustainability Targets into Strategic Plans

When most people think of city plans, they think of comprehensive or long-range plans, which provide broad guidance for community-wide development and decision making on a ten to twenty year horizon. These types of plans are often criticized as documents that “just live on the shelf,” meaning they were developed but never implemented. Comprehensive plans... Read More

STAR Leads Resilience Workshop in Goleta, CA

Situated within Santa Barbara County in the California South Coast region, the City of Goleta is a relatively new city. Since its incorporation in 2002, the City has prioritized environmental stewardship and sustainability in planning, programs, and decision-making. To take this work to the next level, Goleta joined the Fall 2016 STAR Leadership Program in order to identify and convey the City’s... Read More

Peoria, AZ: Certified 3-STAR Community

Lisa Estrada, Economic Efficiency and Sustainability Manager for Peoria, AZ shares their STAR story. The City of Peoria decided to pursue STAR certification to gain clarity around its sustainability efforts. Although we knew we were taking steps in the right direction, we did not fully understand what kind of impact we were having. We needed a widely recognized tool... Read More

Case Study: Communicating Results Through Open Data Dashboards

In recent years, the push for greater transparency in government operations from citizens and groups such as the Sunlight Foundation has led local governments to assess how to best share the wealth of data that they collect. Elected officials and city and county managers acknowledge that it is important to track how tax dollars are... Read More