Improvement in most “sustainability” goal areas was reported in Santa Monica’s second annual Sustainability Report Card, released Friday, September 22nd.
In 1994, Santa Monica adopted the Sustainable City Plan (SCP), a rigorous set of goals to “ensure the long-term sustainability of our local economy, environment and quality of life,” Santa Monica city officials said.
As a way of tracking the progress in meeting the Sustainable City Plan goals in eight areas and future endeavors, the city developed two tools — the Sustainable City Progress Report and the Sustainable City Report Card.
The progress report is an online database that is updated regularly and provides a comprehensive evaluation of the commun- ity’s progress toward its goals, city officials said.
The report card released September 22nd summarizes the progress report with grades in eight goal areas — resource conservation, environmental and public health, transportation, economic development, open space and land use, housing, community education and civic participation and human dignity.
The grades are based on analysis of specific indicator data and evaluation of progress toward meeting the targets for each of the goal areas, city officials said.
The grades are not based on only the city government’s effort, “it’s looking at how the community is doing as a whole,” said Mona Miyasato, assistant to the city manager, community relations.
“We’re using the report card and progress report to guide our decision making,” said Dean Kubani, Santa Monica’s environmental programs manager. “The success highlighted in the report card shows that Santa Monica is not resting on its laurels, but that it is actively addressing the remaining challenges to becoming a sustainable city.”
Miyasato agrees. “I think everyone [city staff] feels pleased with the work we’ve done, but there’s a lot more that needs to be done for us to achieve sustainability to the degree we are hoping for,” she said.
Still, the report card shows improvement in almost every goal area.
“The report card shows that we are making progress toward becoming a sustainable city,” said Craig Perkins, director of Santa Monica’s Department of Environmental and Public Works Management.
“We are seeing that many key groups in the city, including some businesses, institutions, elected officials and city staff now use the term ‘sustainability’ to describe their mission and that of the community. “However, if we are to achieve our goals, all members of the community need to become more involved in the process.”
The report card also includes some successes Santa Monica has achieved over the past year, including the passage of the Community Energy Independence Initiative, designed to increase energy efficiency and the use of solar power throughout Santa Monica over the next 20 years, city officials said.
“We’re making progress on the different fronts,” said Miyasato.
Here are the grades:
Resource Conservation, C+
Environmental and Public
Economic Development, B
Open Space and Land Use, A-
Community Education and
Civic Participation, A-
Human Dignity, B-
Every goal area received an A for effort, except for Economic Development, which received a B+.
The Sustainable City Report Card may be viewed at www.sm epd.org