4-STAR Community Rating
Plano - Second City in Texas Awarded 4-STAR Community Rating for Sustainability
A 4-STAR rating places Plano among the Top Cities in America for Sustainability. TIME Magazine has already named Plano one of the healthiest places to live in America. Now, the STAR Communities Rating System has certified the City of Plano with a 4-STAR rating for national excellence in sustainability (out of a possible 5 Stars).Sustainable communities promote a healthy environment, a strong economy and well-being for all residents, now and for future generations.
What is STAR?
The STAR Communities program is designed to assess a community’s sustainability performance in three broad areas: 1.prosperity and jobs, 2.conservation and the environment, and 3.community health, equity and cultural vitality. The STAR framework includes everything from how safe residents feel, how successful schools are, how fast emergency response times are, to workforce readiness, housing affordability and civic engagement.
Why have a STAR Rating?
Local leaders use the STAR Rating System to assess current levels of sustainability, set targets for moving ahead and measure progress along the way. It provides a roadmap to evaluate and improve the community’s economic, environmental and social performance measures and become healthier and stronger. “The 4-STAR certification makes a powerful statement about Plano as a true City of Excellence,” said Mayor Harry LaRosiliere. “The STAR organization has only awarded a few communities a sustainability rating that high. In fact, we’re only the second city in Texas to achieve this status, behind Austin. We pride ourselves on being a great place to live, work and play and this certification just confirms what we’ve known all along: Our environment is healthy, our economy is strong and people can thrive in Plano.”
More on STAR
The actual Rating System is organized around seven goals:
- Built Environment (Achieve livability, choice and access for all)
- Climate & Energy (Reducing climate impacts and increasing the efficiency of resources)
- Education, Arts & Community (Empower vibrant, educated, connected and diverse communities)
- Economy and Jobs (Create shared prosperity and access to quality jobs)
- Equity and Empowerment (Ensure equity, inclusion and access to opportunity for all citizens)
- Health & Safety (Strengthen communities to be healthy, resilient and safe places for residents and businesses
- Natural Systems (Protect and restore natural resources upon which life depends)
4-STAR Report on Plano
Parks: Plano’s 83 park sites with more than 4,243 acres of park land promotes active living lifestyles, environmental and health benefits and a variety of community programming.
Economy & Jobs: Plano scored well in Business Retention & Development, with 399 new businesses created in the past three years, along with increasing employment rates and decreasing unemployment rates. Other actions noted, included the creation of a tax increment finance (TIF) district to encourage economic reinvestment along the DART rail corridor.
Arts & Community: STAR commended Plano for its Arts, noting that 90% of all Plano residents live within one mile of a community venue that is open to the public and offers free services and/or events, contributing to a high level of community achievement.
Education: STAR lauded Plano for its high educational achievement – 92% of third grade students meet or exceed reading proficiency standards. The high school graduation rate is 96.3%.
Health & Safety: Plano is a top performer in Texas and the nation in a variety of community health indicators including mortality, tobacco use, and diet and exercise. Plano is a very safe community. The Fire Department’s Class 1 rating by the Insurance Services Office (ISO) illustrates the City provides among the nation’s best public protection. Plano also demonstrated significantly lower crime rates than many other U.S. cities.