The City of Baltimore recently won national recognition for its efforts to build a more sustainable and resilient community, with high marks for its work on a range of issues, including climate change and energy efficiency, and its strong network of community-based organizations.
The city earned the certified 5-STAR Community Rating from STAR Communities, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that administers a national community rating system.
Baltimore joins Seattle and Northampton, Mass., as the only communities that have received the 5-STAR rating. Overall, 35 communities and counties across the country have received STAR certifications.
The STAR assessment highlights several areas where Baltimore scored well, including its work preparing for and adapting to climate change and expanding urban agriculture and food production. The City also won points for its diverse set of community-focused organizations, its five-year reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, its focus on community planning, and innovative policies such as the City’s Vacants to Value housing redevelopment program.
The STAR Community Rating System provides U.S. cities, towns and counties with a clear, data-driven approach to assessing their social, economic and environmental conditions. Communities pursuing STAR certification accumulate points for their achievements across seven goal areas: built environment; climate and energy; economy and jobs; education, arts and community; health and safety; equity and empowerment, and natural systems. STAR Communities provides support as localities benchmark progress, and a third-party review ensures accountability. Read more about STAR’s assessment of Baltimore here.
The Baltimore Office of Sustainability led the review process for the STAR certification, with more than 50 partners collaborating over the past year to collect data to measure the community’s sustainability efforts.
source: Baltimore Office of Sustainability