Southern California environment news and trends

Two California cities among finalists for sustainable community awards

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A Metrolink passenger train car arrives at the downtown Riverside station.

Santa Monica and Riverside are among the nine finalists vying for the 2012 Siemens Sustainable Community Awards. Chosen by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center and Siemens Corporation, the finalists were selected from a pool of over 130 applicants, and judged by a panel of sustainability experts.

Both Riverside and Santa Monica are competing in the Midsize Community category against Jersey City, NJ. Boston, Chicago and Las Vegas are the Large Community finalists, with Middleton, WI, Purcellville, VA and River Falls, WI in the Small Community category.

"In Riverside, we see sustainability as more than a program or a destination but as a way of life that is integrated with economic success and inherent in quality of life," said the city’s Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge in a press release. Riverside was chosen for the Green Action Plan, a 38-point strategy for improving sustainability across eight categories. "We are honored to be recognized as a finalist by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Siemens Corporation for our sustainability accomplishments, and we are delighted to share our best practices with other cities through the Sustainable Community Awards program."

Santa Monica was chosen primarily on the basis of the integrated efforts of the Sustainable City Program, particularly the 2010 Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), which combines land use and transportation planning activities. Business-driven efforts such as “Buy Local” and “Business Greening” campaigns are also cited for Santa Monica’s spot among the finalists.

Winners will be announced April 17 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center’s National Conference in Atlanta.

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