STAR Communities & LEED for Cities

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Goleta is a STAR Community!

STAR Communities Logo

STAR Communities is a nonprofit organization that works to advance a national framework to evaluate and certify sustainable communities. The City of Goleta was awarded the 3-STAR Community Rating for national leadership in sustainability in November 2017! The STAR Community Rating System (STAR) is the nation’s leading framework and certification program for local sustainability. The rating system was developed by technical experts, sustainability leaders, and local government officials to provide a transparent and data-driven mechanism to assess and improve local communities sustainability efforts. Cities and counties use STAR to measure their progress across social, economic, and environmental performance areas.

Certification allows communities to credibly and transparently track progress toward overall sustainability objectives. A sustainable community promotes a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being for all residents, now and for future generations. The rating system is based on a cumulative score of 750 possible points available over 7 goal areas and 45 sustainability objectives. We are proud to have received a 3-STAR Community Rating, but know there is still work to be done. 


Each City is scored across seven goal areas: Built Environment; Climate & Energy; Economy & Jobs; Education, Arts & Community; Equity & Empowerment; Natural Systems. An eighth category, Innovation & Process, recognizes best practices, local innovation and good governance.

Goleta's score of 279.6 across these goal areas qualified the City as a 3-STAR Community, recognized for sustainability leadership. According to STAR Communities, the following efforts stood out among our sustainability initiatives:

  • Built Environment: Goleta’s robust park system was a key component to a strong score in this goal area. The park system provides 17.7 acres per 1,000 residents, well above the 13.5-acre STAR threshold. In addition, 97% of households are within a ½ mile walk to a public park.
  • Economy & Jobs: In recent years, the economy of Goleta has experienced growth. Over 200 new businesses were established from 2013-2015, unemployment has dropped and employment has increased above the national average and across most racial and ethnic groups.
  • Health & Safety: Goleta’s residents lead an active lifestyle—in a survey, 86% of residents reported taking part in physical activity in the past month, above the 80% STAR threshold.

Click here to see our full score and click here for the City's STAR Certification Results Report.

For more information on STAR Communities, please visit


June 5th, 2018, City Council Meeting Presentation on the Workshop and Certification Results

Click here to view the presentation.

STAR Communities Workshop on June 4th, 2018

On June 4th the City of Goleta held a STAR Communities public workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to utilize the City’s certification as a 3-STAR Community under the STAR Community Rating System to gain a better understanding of the STAR framework and analyze the City’s certification results. Through facilitated exercises, participants identified gaps and areas of opportunity to prioritize next steps to develop a sustainability plan that over the coming years will help promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and the well-being of people living in the community. 

Read the post workshop report here.

Action planning results are available here.

Cindy Moore, Sustainability Coordinator