Star Index Seeks Input for Game Plan to Green America's Cities

Star Index Seeks Input for Game Plan to Green America's Cities

Envisioned as both a rating system and resource for cities pursuing environmental goals, the Star Community Index has now set 2010 for its launch.

While the system would not be the first to rate cities on their greenness, the Star Community Index is the only thus far that intends to use the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design as a working model for development.

The USGBC and Washington, D.C. think tank Center for American Progress are partnering with the ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, which is providing the administrative oversight for Star efforts, to help develop the system. The idea for the system was broached a little more than a year ago and the partnership formed in November 2007.

Taking a page from the development of LEED, the partners and their steering committee are now seeking input from communities, civic groups, individuals with technical and organizational experience and other stakeholders to help devise a framework for cities and communities to follow, said Program Director Lynne Barker, during a briefing at the USGBC's Greenbuild conference.

"We want to create a common agenda through a national process," she said.

How the Star system is to address the three pillars of sustainability — environmental, economic and social well-being — for communities is be determined by those who participate in the process, she said.

Volunteers interested in providing input and serving on one of eight technical advisory committees on the environment, the economy and society for the Star Community Index may apply online. More information about committees is available here.

Barker said her group is extending the application deadline through the end of the month.