Sustainable Community Recognition Program
Click here to view a handy one-pager about the program (PDF)
Click here to listen to Westland Mayor William Wild discuss this award and for more information on the program.
View press releases from past winners: Westland, St. Clair County, Howell, Farmington Hills, and Green Oak Charter Township.
SEMCOG provides information and assistance to member local governments in Southeast Michigan in the areas of transportation, environment, governmental efficiency, and community and economic development. For local governments, sustainability is about achieving economic prosperity while protecting the environment and providing a high quality of life for residents. Implementing SEMCOG-supported initiatives helps local governments achieve and maintain sustainability.
Why should my community participate?
- Get information to back-up and validate your decisions as local officials.
- Be a leader in the region by making forward-thinking changes in your community.
- Integrate SEMCOG-supported practices into your operations, and receive recognition for doing so.
- Inform constituents about the initiatives being implemented in your community.
- Maximize your SEMCOG membership dues.
- Improve the long-term sustainability of your community.
What communities are eligible to participate?
Any SEMCOG member community is eligible to participate. This includes counties, cities, villages and townships. There is no fee to participate in the program.
How does the program work?
Once your community has signed up to participate, SEMCOG staff will meet with officials from your community to discuss which of the eligible activities to pursue (listed below). SEMCOG will work with you and your staff to complete the eligible activities that you have selected.
Completion of 5-7 of the eligible activities will get your community recognized at the bronze level, completion of 8-10 activities at the silver level, and completion of 11+ eligible activities will get your community recognized at the gold level.
Following completion of the eligible activities by your community, SEMCOG will present a certificate of recognition at a meeting of your board, council or commission. Additionally, a press release will be sent to local media outlets, and your community will be recognized on the SEMCOG Web site. Communities that achieve the gold level of recognition will have opportunities to share their experience and expertise with other SEMCOG member communities.
How does my community sign up to participate?
Step 1. Have your council, board or commission pass a resolution (view a sample here) stating your community’s intent to participate. SEMCOG is available to discuss the program at that meeting.
Step 2. Contact Susan Stefanski or Amy Malmer at (313) 961-4266.
What are the eligible activities?
1. Develop a neighborhood stabilization plan
Neighborhood stabilization plans are developed to guide
the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes.
2. Implement green infrastructure on public
Plan and manage a network of wilderness, parks,
greenways, and conservation easements in your
community in order to support native species, maintain
ecological balance, sustain air and water resources, and
contribute to a high quality of life.
3. Conduct a transportation safety audit of a road
intersection or area in your community, and
Road safety audits allow communities to identify and
address safety problems so residents and visitors can
drive, walk, and bike safely.
4. Conduct a walkable/bikeable audit of an area in
your community, and implement recommendations.
Livable communities generally have facilities promoting
safe pedestrian and bicycle travel and connecting people
to jobs, entertainment, stores, schools, and recreation.
5. Develop a Storm Water Pollution Prevention
Initiative (SWPPI) Plan
A plan to implement and evaluate pollution prevention
and other water quality practices.
6. Develop a community transit coordination plan
Improve the mobility of all people in your community,
particularly older adults, young people, people with
disabilities, low-income workers, and those without
regular access to a car.
7. Use SEMCOG data to develop your community
Master Plan, Strategic Plan, or Capital Improvement Plan
Long-term planning allows your community to develop
short-term solutions in anticipation of future needs.
8. Distribute public outreach information (Ours to
Protect, Ozone Action, or MiRideshare) to residents
Actions your residents can take to improve the region’s
air and water quality.
9. Incorporate Low Impact Development (LID)
components into your planning and zoning processes
The goal of LID is to in manage rainfall at its source, using a
variety of design techniques.
10. Develop an access management plan for a
transportation route in your community
Access management reduces potential for crashes and
maximizes existing road capacity by limiting the number of
access points (commercial driveways and median
crossovers), carefully placing and spacing access points, and
designing the road and access points to serve all users
(drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders).
11. To improve air quality in the region, adopt a
policy that requires certain actions by your local
government departments on Ozone Action days (see example).
On Ozone Action Days, local governments can take certain
actions that can help reduce the creation of ozone that day and
keep it at levels that meet the national air quality standard.
12. Develop an asset management plan for the road
infrastructure in your community
Asset management improves the performance and
effectiveness of our roads through continual monitoring of
physical inventory and condition assessment.
13. Use benchmark data to compare your costs to
others, and implement changes to meet those
Compare your local government to others within the
SEMCOG region and around the country.
14. Incorporate measures of citizen satisfaction into
your budget and service provision decisions
Measure resident priorities and satisfaction levels in order to
assess services, improve performance, and build public trust.
15. Develop a multi-year budget or budget forecast
Budgeting or forecasting on a multi-year basis provides
insight into the future scenarios facing your local government
in order to develop long-range solutions.
16. Achieve a Community Self-Assessment score of 50 or greater
This survey tool gives local governments a better understanding of their effectiveness in providing services at a cost-effective level.