"Northampton is committed to being one of the most sustainable communities in the nation," said Mayor David J. Narkewicz. We are honored to receive the first 5-STAR Community Rating. Our 5-STAR rating reflects many of the great things we already do, and it has helped highlight the things we still need."
The STAR Community Rating System (STAR) is a roadmap and measuring system for community sustainability. It encompasses economic, environmental and social equity indicators. STAR helps communities assess how sustainable they are, set targets, and measure progress.
Northampton was one of 34 communities that participated in STAR Communities' pilot program. Currently, 70+ communities are engaged with STAR, representing more than 33 million residents.
Northampton joined STAR to understand and benchmark how we are doing, become a more sustainable community, and ensure accountability through a third party review. This process helps advance the conversation about both what we have already done (far more than most communities) and what remains to be done (still a lot).
This data will inform Northampton's next steps. In 2015, Northampton will be working with the community to update the Sustainable Northampton Comprehensive Plan. The findings from the STAR process allows the city to benchmark our progress with other communities and gain new ideas for the planning process.
The Northampton Office of Planning and Sustainability led the data collection and quantitative analysis in accordance with the STAR framework. Other city departments, boards, and non-profits contributed much needed data. All data was submitted to STAR Communities, for review and certification.
Northampton earning the top category of STAR Communities is consistent with Northampton having earned the highest Commonwealth Capital Score when the Commonwealth used to score municipal sustainability efforts.