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Tacoma Becomes First STAR-Certified Community

Tacoma Becomes First STAR-Certified Community

Nov. 19, 2013


Gwen Schuler, Media and Communications, gschuler@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5160
Carrie McCausland, Media and Communications, cmccausland@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2005

Tacoma Becomes First STAR-Certified Community

4-Star Livability and Sustainability Assessment Ranking

It’s official. The Tacoma community is more sustainable than some might expect with a rating of four out of five stars.  Tacoma is the first of 30 pilot communities to submit and receive STAR certification, the first national community livability and sustainability rating system.

The quantitative assessment is robust. The City’s Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability led the community-wide effort to collect and analyze more than 500 possible areas of data-supported achievement across seven categories. Tacoma performed particularly well under built environment; climate and energy; education, arts and community; and natural systems, leaving more room for improvement in the economy and jobs, equity and empowerment and health and safety categories.

“One of the values of this assessment is its ability to quantify future progress. We don’t want to just be the first, we want to be the best,”City Manager T.C. Broadnax said. “We have work to do and we’ll be able use the STAR framework as a tool towards improvement, but the validation also helps us to redefine Tacoma by our successes.”

Local governments can use the rating system to evaluate, quantify and promoting livability and sustainability efforts. They can also share expertise with each other. As other communities are certified, Tacomans will be able to see how Tacoma benchmarks in apple-to-apple comparisons.

Mayor Marilyn Strickland accepted a certification plaque during the National League of Cities Conference in Seattle on Saturday. She stated that, “The STAR rating will help us identify gaps for improving the quality of life for our residents in a variety of areas ranging from civic engagement to transportation and access to family-wage jobs.”

Other communities in our region going through the pilot process include Portland, Seattle, King County and Vancouver B.C.  To learn more about the STAR Community Rating System, visit the STAR website at STARcommunities.org