"We want to have local governments who will be the users be the designers of the look and feel of STAR," says Mosi Kitwana, ICLEI USA's deputy executive director, programs and innovation.
"We'll present them with some generic models, and then through an iterative process, invite them to suggest changes in how data is presented, how information might be updated," says Kitwana
In addition to being a central place to store sustainability data, the console will also be able to tie data to a mapping feature that can make projections for different planning scenarios, Kitwana
One example of what the console could do, Kitwana
says, is help communities figure out how to reduce the number of vehicle miles traveled by transportation systems by using city data and STAR maps to make such projections.
The console will be ready for rollout to local governments in 2012.
"We feel we have a very strong platform that we're very comfortable calling a standard," Kitwana
says, "and we feel it will be accepted in the marketplace as a standard.
This could allow cities to conduct multiple comparisons: for instance, comparing performance in year one to year three; to measure their continuous improvement; or to compare itself to peer cities or counties around the country.
"From the ICLEI perspective," he
says, "we're actually more interested in having the cities use it as an internal mechanism to promote improvement."
Also of note is that once ICLEI USA gets the development process rolling, it will consider including more local governments.
The organization started with a limited number of governments to ensure having the right amount of resources dedicated to making the process as efficient as possible, says Kitwana
Ultimately, the aim is to ensure that there is a good representation of cities of various sizes and regions involved.
"We have that somewhat represented right now in the group we have," he
says, noting New York City's large size and Cranberry Township's 28,000 people.