The city of Santa Monica has been named a finalist for the nationwide 2012 Sustainable Community Award by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center and Siemens Corporation.

The coastal community was recognized in the medium-size city category, 50,000-500,000 residents.

Now in its fifth year, the awards program honors communities dedicated to improving their overall sustainability through environmental, economic and social solutions. This year, 135 communities across the country applied for the award.

“Santa Monica is a leader in sustainable strategic planning and has taken a well-rounded approach to ensure that the community’s sustainability goals are met,” said Mayor Richard Bloom. “It’s an honor to have our efforts recognized by being named a finalist for the 2012 Sustainable Community Award.”

Santa Monica’s award application focused on the city’s adoption of a sustainability and transit-oriented general plan – the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) – and the city’s use of the Sustainable City Report Card to biennially measure success in eight goal areas.

The winner in each category will be announced Tuesday, April 17 at the Business Civic Leadership Center’s 2012 National Conference – Forecast: Corporate Citizenship and America’s Future, in Atlanta. Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis will accept the award on behalf of the city.

The community applications were scored by a panel of the country’s top sustainability experts.