St. Petersburg recently received a 3-STAR Community rating for national sustainability leadership from STAR Community Rating System.
Mayor Rick Kriseman, in his State of the City address, said the city had been certified by the STAR Communities organization, becoming the sixth community in Florida to do so, a release posted on the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce website said.
“St. Petersburg’s citizens take great pride in our natural and built environments, the arts and culture, and neighborhood engagement throughout the community," Kriseman said in the release. "We are proud that STAR Communities has verified the city as a 3-STAR national leader in sustainability. We look forward to becoming a 5-Star community within a couple of years thanks to our ongoing efforts.”
St. Petersburg is the 58th nationwide to achieve the rating by STAR Communities, a nonprofit group that evaluates and certifies sustainable communities, the release said. Other Florida communities or counties that who use the system include Monroe County, Broward County, Lee County, West Palm Beach and Palm Bay.
St. Petersburg was recognized for efforts in building parks that provide 24.6 acres per 1,000 residents as well as more than 12 percent reduction in energy use by water facilities and other energy intense infrastructure processes, resources and technologies, the release said. The city was also recognized for efforts in education, arts and health.
STAR Communities is considered a leader in proving a certification program for communities seeking local sustainability efforts, the release said. These communities often consider the benefits for social and economic concerns as well as the environment, and STAR Communities provides an assessment and an effective framework to study and certify communities with ratings that indicate such sustainability, the release said.
“Sustainable cities provide a healthy environment, support a strong economy and continually improve the well-being of the community,” STAR Communities Executive Director Hilari Varnadore said in the release. “The data and information that St. Petersburg gathered through the process will help them continue to make improvements that benefit the whole community.”