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Santa Monica Named Most Sustainable Mid-sized City  


By Lookout Staff

April 23, 2012 -- Santa Monica beat out Jersey City, New Jersey and Riverside, California to win the 2012 Siemens Sustainable Community Award in the midsize community category.

Santa Monica, which was judged among cities of between 50,000 and 150,000 residents, joined Chicago, which won in the large community category, and Purcellville, Virginia, which won in the small community category.

The three winners --which were chosen from among 132 communities across 40 states -- were chosen for their "focus on a multi-disciplinary approach to sustainability, which has positively impacted local businesses and enhanced the quality of life among its citizens," according to.Siemens.

“Our Sustainable City Plan sets ambitious goals that guide our decisions, and provides a model for other communities that wish to become more sustainable," said Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom..

"It’s something we all have to work together to do, and Santa Monica and our fellow sustainable communities have shown that we’re up to the challenge,” Bloom said.

Santa Monica’s award application focused on "integrating goals and principles of its Sustainable City Plan into a wide range of city operations, services and strategic planning initiatives, including the recently adopted Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE)," City officials said. 

Judges noted Santa Monica’s "excellence in setting strategic citywide goals that are reinforced across multiple planning areas, such as resource conservation, economic growth, open space and land use, housing, transportation, civic participation, and human services."

The panel of judges included five academic, community development, and media professionals.

The Sustainable Community Awards were created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) and Siemens in 2008 to "give rise to U.S. communities that are taking proactive steps to improve quality of life, be a steward of the environment, and increase the ability to sustain a successful community for generations to come," award officials said.

"What these communities have done so well, is use sustainability as a lever to overall community success, instead of as a stand-alone program to pursue specific environmental outcomes," said Siemens' Alison Taylor. "This holistic approach is a truer indicator of a community's sustainability."

Santa Monica will receive $20,000 worth of trees from the Alliance for Community Trees.


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