City Recognized for Sustainability Leadership
Goleta, CA – STAR Communities announced today that the City of Goleta (California) has been awarded a 3-STAR Community Rating for national leadership in sustainability. The city is the 65th in the nation to receive recognition from STAR Communities for its participation in the STAR Community Rating System (STAR), which evaluates the livability and sustainability of U.S. communities.
“The City of Goleta is very pleased to receive this 3-STAR Community Rating. We’re proud of the sustainability efforts to date and look forward to doing even more in the coming years,“ said Mayor Paula Perotte.
STAR is the nation’s leading framework and certification program for evaluating local sustainability, encompassing social, economic and environmental performance measures. STAR helps communities evaluate their strengths and weaknesses across seven areas: the built environment; climate and energy; economy and jobs; education, arts and community; health and safety; and natural systems. STAR Communities provides support as localities benchmark progress and a robust third-party verification process ensures accountability.
Goleta received a score of 279.6, which qualifies them as a 3-STAR Community, recognized for sustainability leadership. Several efforts stood out among Goleta’s sustainability initiatives:
- Built Environment: Goleta’s robust park system was a key component to a strong score in this goal area. The park system provides 17.7 acres per 1,000 residents, well above the 13.5-acre STAR threshold. In addition, 97% of households are within a ½ mile walk to a public park.
- Economy & Jobs: In recent years, the economy of Goleta has experienced growth. Over 200 new businesses were established from 2013-2015, unemployment has dropped and employment has increased above the national average and across most racial and ethnic groups.
- Health & Safety: Goleta’s residents lead an active lifestyle—in a survey, 86% of residents reported taking part in physical activity in the past month, above the 80% STAR threshold.
Communities pursuing STAR certification accumulate points for their achievements across the seven goal areas, which are used to determine their rating. There are three STAR certification levels: 3-STAR Community (250-449 points); 4-STAR Community (450-649 points); or 5-STAR (650+ points).
Goleta is one of more than 70 local governments that have participated in the yearlong Leadership program with STAR Communities. Today, hundreds of communities participate in STAR. Other STAR-certified communities in the region include Riverside, CA; El Cerrito, CA; Henderson, NV; and Las, Vegas, NV.
“The STAR rating process gives cities a roadmap for how they can refine and improve their operations to drive continuous improvement,” said Hilari Varnadore, executive director of STAR Communities. “Goleta should be applauded for its commitment to sustainability, and for the clarity and transparency provided while achieving its goals.”
To view Goleta’s full report, go to http://www.starcommunities.org/certification/certified-star-communities/goleta-ca/
To view the full list of communities involved, go to http://www.STARcommunities.org/communities.