Green Economy

2016

Using the STAR Community Rating System to Integrate Sustainability into Community Planning Efforts

Lacey Shaver and David Abell

One of the top reasons that U.S. cities and counties come to STAR Communities is because they are looking for ways to strengthen and support local planning efforts. This document is designed for local government staff and planners and provides guidance on how to use the STAR Community Rating System to integrate sustainability into comprehensive, strategic, and sustainability plans. 

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Alternative Energy Press

This website provides a clearinghouse of news and information about renewable energy technologies from the alternative energy industry. On this site, you will find articles, press releases, discussion forums, and links to other media from sources like Flickr, StumbleUpon, and YouTube.

American Society of Landscape Architects Sustainability Toolkit

The American Society of Landscape Architects' Sustainability Toolkit provides policy makers and design professionals with online toolkits, assessment tools, checklists, modeling software, and case studies to help them create sustainable projects at the regional, urban, and local levels. Designed to complement an earlier series of thematic resources guides, the toolkit will include environmental, economic and social models.

Building for Sustainability (Chicago Community Loan Fund)

The Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF) works with community development corporations to provide flexible financing and free or low-cost technical assistance. At the core of CCLF is green design to guide and facilitate affordable housing, economic development, and social services in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Since 1991, CCLF has provided more than $36 million in financing that has enabled the creation of more than 5,200 homes, 1,000 jobs, and over 1.7 million square feet of commercial and nonprofit utility space.

Center for Land Use Education (CLUE)

Established in July 2000, The Center for Land Use Education (CLUE) is a joint venture of the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Pointand and Cooperative Extension in collaboration with UW System institutions. The website provides publications, resources, and events related to the programming coordination for land use education.

Center for Sustainability at Penn State

The Center, housed in the School of Engineering, aims to integrate innovative Green Design Architecture and Engineering technologies and practices into the Center's sustainability education programming. Research focus areas include food security, green design architecture and engineering, hybrid energy systems, natural wastewater treatment and engineering education.

Climate and Energy Project, The Land Institute

The Climate and Energy Project (CEP), a project of the Kansas-based Land Institute, seeks through its programs and its website materials to support lively, informed conversations about the Midwest's energy future. The group aims to help halt the Midwest's contributions to global warming and climate change, and supports the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by increasing energy efficiency and developing renewable energies in a sustainable manner.

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency

Established in 1995, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The database provides a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Donella Meadows Institute

The Donella Meadows Institute (formerly named the Sustainability Institute), based in Hartland, Vermont, was founded in 1996 to apply systems thinking and organizational learning to economic, environmental and social challenges. The Institute works for change in three ways: through workshops, leadership development, and consulting; by targeting specific systems and issues, including natural resource economies, climate change, energy, and regional development; and by applying the consulting, workshops, and research work to develop conceptual frameworks for large-scale change. The site includes many papers based on the Institute's research work.

Econ 4

Econ4 is focused on redefining the economics profession - shifting it from a discipline focused on short-run output and profits to one that aims to secure long-run human well-being. To accomplish this goal, an economy must meet four necessary conditions: a level playing field, resilience, true-cost pricing and real democracy. Econ4 strives to change the current orthodoxy through disseminating these ideas through new media, transforming the traditional introductory economics class for undergraduates, altering the profession by targeting how economics PhD's are trained, and trying to instill a body of ethics into a profession that has often refused to adopt or talk about one.

Erb Institute, University of Michigan

Created in 1996, the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise is a 50-50 partnership between the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Its main areas of research are: alternative energy and clean technology, climate strategy and carbon policy, mega-city mobility and accessibility, social enterprise, and green building/development.

Green Infrastructure Center

The Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) provides communities with direct service, advice and analysis for green infrastructure planning, helping them create a development strategy that allows them to protect and conserve their ecological and cultural assets in a sustainable manner. Since its founding in 2007, GIC has already completed eight planning field tests in urban, rural and suburban landscapes, and has advised five regional planning districts in Virginia.

Green Power Network, US Dept. of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Recyclable Energy

The Green Power Network provides information on green power markets and related activities. The site provides up-to-date news on green power providers, product offerings, consumer protection issues, and policies affecting green power markets. It also includes a reference library of relevant papers, articles and reports. The Green Power Network is operated and maintained by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy.

GreenBiz

GreenBiz publishes daily on topics regarding how to align environmental responsibility with business success. In addition to daily news feeds, Green Biz's website also has electronic newsletters, briefing papers, and other reports regarding the United States' growing green economy.

Gund Institute for Ecological Economics

The Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont is a research center focused on shifting economic goals away from infinite growth to environmental sustainability. Dedicated to integrating community participation in the design and development of economic-decision making, the Gund Institute holds problem-solving workshops in local communities, or ateliers. The ateliers are flexible workshops that bring students directly into communities to tackle socio-environmental issues.

Interstate Renewable Energy Council

Formed in 1982 as a non-profit organization, the mission of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council is to accelerate the sustainable utilization of renewable energy sources and technologies in and through state and local government and community activities. The group's members include state energy offices, city energy offices, other municipal and state agencies, national laboratories, solar and renewable organizations and companies, and individuals.

Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Established in Oklahoma in 1965, the Kerr Center (then the “Agricultural Division” of the Kerr Foundation) was established to provide farmers and ranchers in the area with free technical assistance and information on how to improve their operations, with an emphasis on wise stewardship. In the 1980s, the Center acquired its current name and added a specific focus on sustainable agriculture that preserves natural resources, protects the natural environment, and improves the quality of life for farmers and ranchers. The website contains a considerable number of articles on farmers markets and other forms of community-based food production.

National Association of Counties' Green Purchasing Toolkit

Developed by the National Association of Counties, U.S. Communities, the Responsible Purchasing Network and Green Seal, this green purchasing toolkit enables counties across the nation to reduce their negative environmental impacts without compromising on cost or performance.  The website offers information and evaluations on different types of green products, assessment tools so that counties can evaluate what point they are starting from, and a model process for how to implement a green purchasing program.

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service lists news, events and funding opportunities and provides comprehensive publications and reports regarding sustainable agriculture and organic farming.  The site contains a section specifically dedicated to urban and community agriculture, providing resource links and downloadable reports.

North Carolina Solar Center

Created in 1988 and housed at the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, the North Carolina Solar Center serves as a clearinghouse for solar and other renewable energy programs, information, research, technical assistance, and training for the citizens of North Carolina and beyond.

Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (University of California, Berkeley)

The Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) is a research, development, project implementation, and community outreach facility based at the University of California, Berkeley in the Energy and Resources Group and the Department of Nuclear Engineering. RAEL focuses on designing, testing, and disseminating renewable and appropriate energy systems. The Laboratory's mission is to help these technologies realize their full potential to contribute to environmentally sustainable development in both industrialized and developing nations while also addressing the cultural context and range of potential social impacts of any new technology or resource management system.

Solar Energy International

Solar Energy International is a U.S.-based, non-profit organization offering online courses and hands-on workshops in solar, wind and water power and environmental building technologies in 22 locations worldwide. The website also contains a number of articles on renewable energy written by staff, alumni and guest instructors.

UCSC (University of California, Santa Cruz) Green Enterprise Initiative

The UCSC Green Enterprise Initiative seeks to harness the research and energies of the university community to the planning and administrative capacities of the city in order to promote a range of green enterprises. With its existing advantages – people, environment, research capacity—Santa Cruz could build on these strengths to promote green enterprise. These enterprises could include industry, commerce, services, agriculture, and knowledge production. This site includes links to a wide range of other sites, including local green businesses, eco-industrial parks throughout the United States, green city programs, green university partnership programs, and many other information resources.

University of Kansas, Center for Sustainability

The Center for Sustainability promotes a culture of sustainability on the University of Kansas campus. The Center facilitates research, learning opportunities, policies, and practices that address environmental, economic, and social responsibility, including developing an outline in the summer of 2007 of what is anticipated to be an upcoming comprehensive campus-based sustainability report.

Using the STAR Community Rating System to Integrate Sustainability into Community Planning Efforts

Lacey Shaver and David Abell

One of the top reasons that U.S. cities and counties come to STAR Communities is because they are looking for ways to strengthen and support local planning efforts. This document is designed for local government staff and planners and provides guidance on how to use the STAR Community Rating System to integrate sustainability into comprehensive, strategic, and sustainability plans. 

Alternative Energy Press

This website provides a clearinghouse of news and information about renewable energy technologies from the alternative energy industry. On this site, you will find articles, press releases, discussion forums, and links to other media from sources like Flickr, StumbleUpon, and YouTube.

American Society of Landscape Architects Sustainability Toolkit

The American Society of Landscape Architects' Sustainability Toolkit provides policy makers and design professionals with online toolkits, assessment tools, checklists, modeling software, and case studies to help them create sustainable projects at the regional, urban, and local levels. Designed to complement an earlier series of thematic resources guides, the toolkit will include environmental, economic and social models.

Building for Sustainability (Chicago Community Loan Fund)

The Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF) works with community development corporations to provide flexible financing and free or low-cost technical assistance. At the core of CCLF is green design to guide and facilitate affordable housing, economic development, and social services in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Since 1991, CCLF has provided more than $36 million in financing that has enabled the creation of more than 5,200 homes, 1,000 jobs, and over 1.7 million square feet of commercial and nonprofit utility space.

Center for Land Use Education (CLUE)

Established in July 2000, The Center for Land Use Education (CLUE) is a joint venture of the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Pointand and Cooperative Extension in collaboration with UW System institutions. The website provides publications, resources, and events related to the programming coordination for land use education.

Center for Sustainability at Penn State

The Center, housed in the School of Engineering, aims to integrate innovative Green Design Architecture and Engineering technologies and practices into the Center's sustainability education programming. Research focus areas include food security, green design architecture and engineering, hybrid energy systems, natural wastewater treatment and engineering education.

Climate and Energy Project, The Land Institute

The Climate and Energy Project (CEP), a project of the Kansas-based Land Institute, seeks through its programs and its website materials to support lively, informed conversations about the Midwest's energy future. The group aims to help halt the Midwest's contributions to global warming and climate change, and supports the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by increasing energy efficiency and developing renewable energies in a sustainable manner.

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency

Established in 1995, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The database provides a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Donella Meadows Institute

The Donella Meadows Institute (formerly named the Sustainability Institute), based in Hartland, Vermont, was founded in 1996 to apply systems thinking and organizational learning to economic, environmental and social challenges. The Institute works for change in three ways: through workshops, leadership development, and consulting; by targeting specific systems and issues, including natural resource economies, climate change, energy, and regional development; and by applying the consulting, workshops, and research work to develop conceptual frameworks for large-scale change. The site includes many papers based on the Institute's research work.

Econ 4

Econ4 is focused on redefining the economics profession - shifting it from a discipline focused on short-run output and profits to one that aims to secure long-run human well-being. To accomplish this goal, an economy must meet four necessary conditions: a level playing field, resilience, true-cost pricing and real democracy. Econ4 strives to change the current orthodoxy through disseminating these ideas through new media, transforming the traditional introductory economics class for undergraduates, altering the profession by targeting how economics PhD's are trained, and trying to instill a body of ethics into a profession that has often refused to adopt or talk about one.

Erb Institute, University of Michigan

Created in 1996, the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise is a 50-50 partnership between the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Its main areas of research are: alternative energy and clean technology, climate strategy and carbon policy, mega-city mobility and accessibility, social enterprise, and green building/development.

Green Infrastructure Center

The Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) provides communities with direct service, advice and analysis for green infrastructure planning, helping them create a development strategy that allows them to protect and conserve their ecological and cultural assets in a sustainable manner. Since its founding in 2007, GIC has already completed eight planning field tests in urban, rural and suburban landscapes, and has advised five regional planning districts in Virginia.

Green Power Network, US Dept. of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Recyclable Energy

The Green Power Network provides information on green power markets and related activities. The site provides up-to-date news on green power providers, product offerings, consumer protection issues, and policies affecting green power markets. It also includes a reference library of relevant papers, articles and reports. The Green Power Network is operated and maintained by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy.

GreenBiz

GreenBiz publishes daily on topics regarding how to align environmental responsibility with business success. In addition to daily news feeds, Green Biz's website also has electronic newsletters, briefing papers, and other reports regarding the United States' growing green economy.

Gund Institute for Ecological Economics

The Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont is a research center focused on shifting economic goals away from infinite growth to environmental sustainability. Dedicated to integrating community participation in the design and development of economic-decision making, the Gund Institute holds problem-solving workshops in local communities, or ateliers. The ateliers are flexible workshops that bring students directly into communities to tackle socio-environmental issues.

Interstate Renewable Energy Council

Formed in 1982 as a non-profit organization, the mission of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council is to accelerate the sustainable utilization of renewable energy sources and technologies in and through state and local government and community activities. The group's members include state energy offices, city energy offices, other municipal and state agencies, national laboratories, solar and renewable organizations and companies, and individuals.

Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Established in Oklahoma in 1965, the Kerr Center (then the “Agricultural Division” of the Kerr Foundation) was established to provide farmers and ranchers in the area with free technical assistance and information on how to improve their operations, with an emphasis on wise stewardship. In the 1980s, the Center acquired its current name and added a specific focus on sustainable agriculture that preserves natural resources, protects the natural environment, and improves the quality of life for farmers and ranchers. The website contains a considerable number of articles on farmers markets and other forms of community-based food production.

National Association of Counties' Green Purchasing Toolkit

Developed by the National Association of Counties, U.S. Communities, the Responsible Purchasing Network and Green Seal, this green purchasing toolkit enables counties across the nation to reduce their negative environmental impacts without compromising on cost or performance.  The website offers information and evaluations on different types of green products, assessment tools so that counties can evaluate what point they are starting from, and a model process for how to implement a green purchasing program.

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service lists news, events and funding opportunities and provides comprehensive publications and reports regarding sustainable agriculture and organic farming.  The site contains a section specifically dedicated to urban and community agriculture, providing resource links and downloadable reports.

North Carolina Solar Center

Created in 1988 and housed at the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, the North Carolina Solar Center serves as a clearinghouse for solar and other renewable energy programs, information, research, technical assistance, and training for the citizens of North Carolina and beyond.

Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (University of California, Berkeley)

The Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) is a research, development, project implementation, and community outreach facility based at the University of California, Berkeley in the Energy and Resources Group and the Department of Nuclear Engineering. RAEL focuses on designing, testing, and disseminating renewable and appropriate energy systems. The Laboratory's mission is to help these technologies realize their full potential to contribute to environmentally sustainable development in both industrialized and developing nations while also addressing the cultural context and range of potential social impacts of any new technology or resource management system.

Solar Energy International

Solar Energy International is a U.S.-based, non-profit organization offering online courses and hands-on workshops in solar, wind and water power and environmental building technologies in 22 locations worldwide. The website also contains a number of articles on renewable energy written by staff, alumni and guest instructors.

UCSC (University of California, Santa Cruz) Green Enterprise Initiative

The UCSC Green Enterprise Initiative seeks to harness the research and energies of the university community to the planning and administrative capacities of the city in order to promote a range of green enterprises. With its existing advantages – people, environment, research capacity—Santa Cruz could build on these strengths to promote green enterprise. These enterprises could include industry, commerce, services, agriculture, and knowledge production. This site includes links to a wide range of other sites, including local green businesses, eco-industrial parks throughout the United States, green city programs, green university partnership programs, and many other information resources.

University of Kansas, Center for Sustainability

The Center for Sustainability promotes a culture of sustainability on the University of Kansas campus. The Center facilitates research, learning opportunities, policies, and practices that address environmental, economic, and social responsibility, including developing an outline in the summer of 2007 of what is anticipated to be an upcoming comprehensive campus-based sustainability report.