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Our Framework

The STAR Community Rating System (STAR) has served as the nation’s leading comprehensive framework and certification program for evaluating local sustainability, encompassing economic, environmental, and social performance measures since its release in 2012.

STAR CoverSTAR was developed by and for local governments and represented a milestone in the national movement to create more livable communities for all. The rating system’s evaluation measures collectively defined community-scale sustainability, and presented a vision of how communities could become more healthy, inclusive, and prosperous. The system’s goals and objectives provided a much-needed vocabulary that local governments and their communities could use to more effectively strategize and define their sustainability planning efforts.


The STAR Community Rating System was built on a framework of sustainability goals, objectives and evaluation measures. Local leaders set goals and measure progress across sustainability themes using the evaluation measures included in the rating system. The table below depicts Version 2.0 of the STAR Community Rating System, released in October 2016.