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Sustainability

Cedar Rapids 4-STAR Community Rating ShieldCedar Rapids is a Certified

4-STAR Community!

The Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating (STAR) Community Rating System is the nation’s leading certification program for community sustainability.

Overview

The STAR rating system is comprised of eight goal areas covering 49 objectives. STAR distributes points for outcomes achieved or actions taken in each objective. Outcomes are aspirational levels of achievement. Actions — such as partnerships, education, policies, practices, and assessments — move a community in the direction of an outcome.

City Performance and Plan
  • Cedar Rapids' 4-STAR Report (pdf)
  • Summary Infographic (pdf)
  • Goal Area Overviews (pdf)
  • Sustainable City Government Plan Timeline (pdf)
STAR Info
Goal Areas
  • Built Environment
  • Climate & Energy
  • Economy & Jobs
  • Education, Arts & Community
  • Equity & Empowerment
  • Health & Safety
  • Natural Systems
  • Innovation

City staff submitted more than 500 data points reflecting the City's diverse initiatives and accomplishments to complete the STAR application. The submission highlighted many successful green initiatives, including projects like the Middle Cedar Partnership Project, the Stormwater Cost-Share Program, and the MICRO loan program. Individuals from throughout the City’s many departments, community partners, the iGreenCR Team, and other stakeholders have been key supporters in these initiatives and the data collection.

Built Environment: 52%; Climate & Energy: 39%; Economy & Jobs: 76%; Education, Arts & Community: 63%; Equity & Empowerment: 50%; Health & Safety: 67%; Natural Systems: 69%; Innovation & Process: 86%

In all, Cedar Rapids earned 458.5 points to achieve a 4-STAR rating. Cedar Rapids is the sixth Iowa community to earn STAR certification and the first under the expanded Version 2.0. Iowa has the nation’s second-most STAR Communities, tied with Texas. Florida is first with seven. In Iowa, STAR Communities include Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Dubuque, Des Moines, Charles City, and Davenport.

Key Data

Download Overview (pdf)

Built Environment - 64.6 miles of bike lanes
1,160 new affordable housing units since 2010
Climate & Energy - 20% clean energy in 2016
1st "Solar Ready" city in Iowa
 Economy & Jobs - Over 100 thousand dollars in MICRO loans to small businesses since 20161,618 new jobs in targeted industry sectors
Equity & Empowerment - 10 neighborhoods assisted by Neighborhood Service Delivery InitiativeHealth & Safety - Complete Streets Policy - street construction projects consider needs of pedestrians, bikes, busses, and cars 

Education, Arts & Community - Urban ag ordinance makes open lots usable for growing food 
Natural Systems - 90 thousand dollars in matching grants for permeable paving, soil quality restoration & rain gardens in 2017Middle Cedar Partnership Project partners with farmers upstream to improve water quality  Innovation & Process - Aa1 bond rating demonstrates fiscal responsibility & City strength

Next Steps

City Council and staff can now use the STAR assessment to make more informed decisions for our community and continue this vision of excellence for future generations. Moving forward, we will align insights from the report with Council priorities and key City planning documents such as EnvisionCR to create Cedar Rapids’ first Sustainable City Government Plan. Download the timeline (pdf).

  1. PRINCIPLES
    City staff identify statements that form City's sustainability ethos.
    (Summer 2018)
  2. STAR OUTREACH
    Celebration of achievements; input on remaining STAR actions and existing plan alignment
    (Summer 2018)
  3. GOALS
    Create metrics and goals using STAR and EnvisionCR
    (Fall–Winter 2018)
  4. ACTION
    Begin work on Sustainable City Government Plan priorities
    (Winter 2018–19)

Sustainability Integration Committee (SIC): Tasked with completing the STAR assessment and then building our Sustainable City Government Plan, SIC members include:

  • Co-chair, Steve Hershner, Utilities Director
  • Co-chair, Jennifer Pratt, Community Development Director
  • Sandi Fowler, Assistant City Manager
  • Eric Holthaus, Sustainability Coordinator
  • Maria Johnson, Communications Manager
  • Kevin Ciabatti, Building Services Director
  • Casey Drew, Finance Director
  • Jen Winter, Public Works Director
  • Sven Leff, Parks and Recreation Director
  • Mark English, Fire Chief
  • Dara Schmidt, Library Director 
  • Marty Lenss, Airport Director
© 2018  Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 101 First Street SE

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