(June 26, 2015–St. Paul, Minn.) The League of Minnesota Cities has presented the 2015 Sustainable City Award to the City of Oakdale for its “Generation Green Sustainability Program.” The award was presented earlier today at the League’s Annual Conference in Duluth.
Any of the 83 cities that participate in the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program are eligible for consideration in the competition. GreenStep Cities is a free and voluntary program, administered by eight partnering organizations, that is designed to help Minnesota cities achieve their environmental sustainability goals through implementation of 28 best practices.
Oakdale has participated in GreenStep Cities since 2011 and uses the initiative as a framework for the city’s own sustainability program and project implementation. Oakdale’s Environmental Management Commission updates its sustainability plan on a bi-annual basis, and creates work plans each year in order to achieve City Council priorities. The city uses GreenStep Cities best practices as the basis for planning, and as a resource for implementation guidelines and project ideas.
As a result of the influence from the GreenStep Cities program, Oakdale has reduced commercial energy consumption; promoted mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods based on infill redevelopment; promoted energy efficiency and renewable energy investment in commercial properties; and reduced energy and maintenance costs by upgrading all traffic signals in the city to use LED technology.
To compete for the Sustainable City Award, cities self-nominated a project, program, or initiative that involved one or more of the 28 best practices, and was administered to achieve one or more of the following: improvement of the quality of a city service, development of an effective or innovative way to solve an old or common problem, modification of a program from another community or organization to fit city needs, discovery of a way to save the city money without compromising service results, and/or creative involvement of city staff or citizens in making a decision.