Sustainability a Successful Strategy in Three Communities

Apr 18, 2012

Olivia Cohn of the Chicago Climate Action Plan, Gleam Davis, Mayor Pro Tem of Santa Monica, CA, and Bob Lazaro, Mayor of Purcellville, VA accept an award on behalf of their communities. Photo: Ian Wagreich

[NOTE: This was cross-posted from the Business Civic Leadership Center's blog.]

Officials from three U.S. municipalities will return home today knowing that their communities’ improvement strategies have paid off.

Chicago, Illinois; Santa Monica California; and Purcellville, Virginia beat out 132 other communities from 40 states to be named this year’s Siemens Sustainable Community Awards winners.

The awards, a joint initiative between the U.S. Chamber BCLC and Siemens Corporation, applaud the nation’s foremost examples of local public-private partnerships for sustainable development.

The three winning communities make it clear that sustainability at the municipal level is not just about going green or reducing emissions. "Getting sustainability right improves quality of life, the efficient use of resources, and the competitiveness of communities," said BCLC founder and executive director Stephen Jordan.

The winners were unveiled last night at the 5th annual awards reception in Atlanta, Georgia, itself a past Community Award finalist. Joel Makower of GreenBiz Group, who served on the 2012 judging panel, noted that the winning communities do a good job of showing what happens when communities and neighbors work together for the common good.

In the category of large community, Chicago won the award for its multi-stakeholder approach to implementing the Chicago Climate Action Plan. 

In the midsize category, Santa Monica won the award for 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 winner of the small community category, Purcellville, Virginia, thrives economically and has received recognition from Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine for proactive use of land and natural resources.  

Check out the community stories about the winners and all nine 2012 finalists.

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