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STAR Communities & LEED Cities

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St. Pete: A 4-Star Community + LEED Certified City

Working across City departments and with community members and partners, the City of St. Petersburg conducted sustainability assessments in 2016 and 2019 to evaluate our progress in a wide range of sustainability objectives. St. Pete progressed from a 3-STAR Community in 2016 (view the 2016 STAR Certification Results Report) to 4-STAR Community in 2019. After three years of momentum in projects, programs, and policies, St. Pete showed improvement in every goal area:

Goal2019 Approved Final Score2019 Total Points PossibleDec. 2019 % AchievedDec. 2016 % Achieved % Improvement
Built Environment   80.39  100  80%  65.5%  15%
Climate & Energy  59.38  100  59%  47.4%  12%
Economy & Jobs  82.14  100  82%  61.8%  20%
Education, Arts & Community  92.54  100  93%  76.9%  16%
Equity & Empowerment  59.17  100  59%  21.7%  37%
Health & Safety  78.91  100  79%  61.6%  17%
Natural Systems  80.36  100  80%  35.1%  45%
Innovation & Process  44.10  50  88%  69.5%  19%
 Totals  576.99  750  77%  53.0%  24%

What is STAR + LEED for Cities?

During 2019, STAR Communities merged with LEED for Cities & Communities to expand the data-driven and performance-based program and include those critical best practices needed to move the needle on local sustainability conditions. The new program integrates content from STAR and the LEED for Cities pilot, while aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. By recertifying during 2019, St. Petersburg was able to track progress within the existing STAR framework and simultaneously achieve certification under the LEED for Cities program.

Sustainability means different things to different people, so certification provides a clear, data-driven approach to assessing communities’ sustainability efforts. Certification programs provide third-party verification of a city’s performance across various goal areas. The STAR Community Rating System was the nation’s first comprehensive framework and certification program for evaluating local sustainability, encompassing economic, environmental and social performance measures.

The LEED for Cities and Communities program builds upon this framework to track metrics transparently, educate residents, visitors and business owners to demonstrate commitment to sustainability, human health and economic prosperity. With this certification, communities can credibly track their progress and compare progress with each other.

What's Included In The Rating System?

The STAR Community Rating System is organized around 7 thematic Goal Areas + an Innovation and Process Opportunity: Natural Systems, Health & Safety, Education, Arts & Community, Economy & Jobs, Equity & Empowerment, Built Environment, and Climate & Energy.

STAR rating system

Comparatively, the 6 LEED for Cities credit categories are: Natural Systems and Ecology, Transportation and Land Use, Water Efficiency, Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Materials and Resources, and Quality of Life.

Which Communities Are Involved?

The list of LEED Cities and Communities is always growing. As of January 2020, more than 90 cities and communities are currently certified with LEED. See an updated list on the U.S. Green Building Council's website.

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