Portland Cityscape

Keep your eyes out for the newest tool designed to rate cities in their efforts to push environmental stewardship.  The STAR Community Index is like LEED, but it’s designed to rate local governments.  With myriad green city rankings and websites trying to calculate the sustainability of local governments,* it’s high time for a highly respected, standardized formula for measuring a community’s sustainability.  According to ICLEI, the STAR Program will create a process, not unlike LEED, to bring in leaders in the field toward the goal of establishing shared measures and processes for greening communities.  STAR will have tiered levels, with the aim to accomplish the following:


  • Offer a globally recognized green standard system for local governments
  • Drive integrity and rigor in local governmental actions meant to reduce climate impacts
  • Increase accountability in data and actions
  • Facilitate prioritized and informed decision making
  • Create a roadmap for communities to track and achieve environmental goals
  • Enable peer-to-peer learning among communities
  • Engage the public in supporting and advancing their city as a STAR community

STAR is being developed by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability in partnership with the USGBC and the Center for American Progress

*Up until this point, various websites and media publishers have tried to rank cities based on various sustainability and environmental factors.  Some rankings include Popular Science’s 50 Greenest Cities, CountryHome’s Best Green Places, SustainLane’s US City Rankings, Move’s Top 10 Greenest Cities, and MSN CityGuide’s 10 Greenest Cities in America

Image via Infinite Wilderness, tip via elaine.