Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Greening USA to test its community sustainability rating system in Syracuse

See original story By Marie Morelli / The Post-Standard

Greening USA's 12 Traits of Sustainable Communities ratings system will be put to a beta test by the City of Syracuse, who will score itself against 36 sustainable criteria related to government leadership, land use planning, transportation systems, water infrastructure, green buildings, green energy, waste management, health and safety, sustainable economic development and community engagement.

The scoring would use data from public sources such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as internal assessments. Communities could achieve one of four levels -- member community, sustainable community, highly sustainable community and highly sustainable community of distinction.

Peter Arsenault, the Manlius architect who coordinated development of the 12 Traits system, said Greening USA hopes to emulate the "All America City'' program of the National Civic League. Cities compete for the honor and trumpet it on road signs and marketing materials.

The 12 Traits assessment tool is posted on Greening USA's website. The download is free, with registration.

The group also is seeking more communities to "beta-test'' the program. All fees will be waived for the first year for any county, city, town or village that signs up, Arsenault said.

After four years of development, GreeningUSA launched its "Beta-test" version of the 12 Traits© for Sustainable Communities today at its sixth Annual Meeting. The12 Traits© is the most comprehensive rating system developed for communities to measure their successes, shortfalls, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and to make sense of how to prioritize future initiatives in their move to become truly sustainable.

Download a power point presentation outlining the new "Beta-test" version of the 12 Traits here. (no registration required)

Read further for directions on downloading your free copy of the full Self Assessment Manual.