In April 2019, the City of West Hollywood became a 3-STAR Certified Community under the STAR Communities Rating System (STAR), a non-profit, third-party verification program.
STAR stands for "Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating" Communities. STAR is the nation’s premiere framework and certification program for evaluating and quantifying the sustainability of U.S. communities. The framework is based on goals, objectives, and evaluation measures and rates communities along a point scale, awarding leadership certifications for three-, four-, and five-star ratings.
STAR uses a holistic analysis that measures environmental, economic, and social performance measures. Communities initiate applications for STAR voluntarily and receive applicable credits in the following categories:
- Built Environment
- Climate and Energy
- Economy and Jobs
- Education, Arts, and Community
- Equity and Empowerment
- Health and Safety
- Natural Systems
- Innovation and Process
Why did West Hollywood pursue STAR Communities Certification?
The City of West Hollywood is committed to fostering a sustainable, resilient, and livable community. The STAR Certification process evaluates past and current City initiatives, compares the city’s progress alongside other STAR communities, identifies areas for improvement, and aligns the city with proven best management practices inherent in the STAR framework.
How did West Hollywood score?
West Hollywood scored well above the median score range needed to qualify for 3-STAR certification status. This strong outcome reflects the City’s existing, robust leadership in sustainability. Certification places West Hollywood among the first ranks of sustainable communities nationwide. As of Summer 2019, only three other California cities have earned STAR certification status.
The infographic below shows West Hollywood’s scores in each of the eight major categories. Click anywhere on the image to enlarge the infographic.
Notable achievements include:
- Education, Arts, and Community. The City championed the community-based, WeHo Arts: The Plan, developed by over 1,700 individuals that guides and supports West Hollywood’s many arts and culture programs and services, a cultural plan that offered substantial credits in this category. The City also earned credit for youth leadership development, after school and summer learning programs, historic preservation sites, and aging-in-place policies that address the needs of senior citizens.
- Climate & Energy. City’s ability to quantify and strategically reduce greenhouse gas emissions through its Climate Action Plan earned high scores in this goal area. Additionally, the City’s participation in a local community choice energy program and policies related to electric vehicle charging, water and energy efficiency, and increased recycling and waste diversion rates led to additional points.
- Built Environment. West Hollywood’s efforts to address noise pollution, maintain water quality and conservation, and support mixed-use and affordable housing earned a high percentage of points in this goal area. The City’s complete street policies, residents’ satisfaction with City parks, and access to public transit also received recognition.
- Innovation and Process. Inclusive public engagement efforts, smart city initiatives, and innovative municipal code policies – such as the City’s Transportation Demand Management policy and Art on Construction Fences – resulted in additional points.
For a more detailed score analysis for all categories, please see the following:
- West Hollywood - STAR Communities Staff Report and Summary Memo
- West Hollywood official STAR scorecard
How will West Hollywood use STAR in the future?
The City will continue to align the goals, objectives, and recommended local actions outlined in STAR with current and planned sustainability initiatives. STAR has a series of national best management practices (BMPs), several of which the City is currently advancing on, including bicycle infrastructure, congestion reduction, volunteer participation, social equity, and urban forestry. Additionally, West Hollywood will use the results from STAR certification to strengthen ongoing sustainability efforts, determine the focus for future initiatives, integrate relevant best practices into its ongoing operations, and track its progress over time.