An overview of triple bottom line sustainability in the City of St. Louis

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The City of St. Louis harnesses the strength and spirit of its diverse community to create an economically, socially and ecologically vibrant City for present and future generations -- one that dynamically serves those who live, work and play in the City's rich and celebrated historic landscape.

City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan and Mayor's Sustainability Action Agenda

The first City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan was formally adopted by the City's Planning Commission in January 2013. In February 2013, Mayor Slay announced his Mayor's Sustainability Action Agenda of 29 priority initiatives for Sustainability Plan implementation by 2018. There have been three community-wide Mayor's Sustainability Summits since 2011. (View the program for the 3-day Summit III :: implement here). The next Mayor's Sustainability Summit will be held in 2015. Sign up below to receive sustainability updates.

Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative

The City's award-winning Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative was launched in 2013. Two initial efforts were creating version 1.0 of a Sustainable Neighborhood Toolkit and holding a Sustainable Neighborhood Small Grant Competition. To learn more about the initiative and access resources visit

2015 Sustainability Internships

The Office of the Mayor is seeking interns with experience in sustainability who are willing to invest time in learning how to support the City's sustainability programs. These are unpaid positions but very important to advancing sustainability in the City. To apply, follow the instructions in the current intern position description

Awards and Recognition

Mayor Slay named by OurGreenCities as one of eight 2014-2015 Top Mayors for Sustainability 

2014 Outstanding Public Outreach and Community Initiative Award for the City's Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative by the American Planning Association Missouri Chapter.

2013 Outstanding Public Outreach and Community Initiative Award for the City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan by the American Planning Association Missouri Chapter.

2013 Outstanding Plan for the City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan by the St. Louis Chapter of the American Planning Association;

The City's Cycling Initiative earned it the U.S. Conference of Mayors Livability Award honorable mention (2012); 

The City was the Municipal recipient of Trailnet's Active Living Awards (2012); 

The City of St. Louis was showcased as an Innovator in the Carbon Disclosure Project's CDP 2012 Global Report (Page 80)

Sustainability News

The City's most recent Sustainability Newsletter.

10 Sustainability Successes in the City of St. Louis.

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Milkweeds for Monarchs Project and the Urban Vitality & Ecology Initiative

On Earth Day 2014, Mayor Slay announced the launch of Milkweeds for Monarchs: The St. Louis Butterfly Project. Both Milkweeds for Monarchs and the brand new City of St. Louis Urban Vitality & Ecology Initiative help advance the City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan and the Mayor's Sustainability Action Agenda priorities to better connect people to urban natural resources in ways that promote ecological significance, provide social benefits, and maximize economic opportunities. Learn more about these efforts from the menu to the left. 

Learn more about Milkweeds for Monarchs, such as the 9 best milkweed and nectar species to use, where to find plants and how to care for a monarch garden once established. Request a free yard sign when you register a new Milkweeds for Monarchs garden in the City. Butterfly gardens have been planted throughout the City of St. Louis: view a map of registered monarch gardens.

Sign Up for E-blasts to Stay Informed

The best way to keep current on sustainability initiatives and opportunities is to sign up to receive periodic e-mails with updates and announcements. If you would like to be added to the sustainability e-blast list, just send an email to

Energy Efficiency Financing

In July 2013, the City of St. Louis launched the first phase of its Set The PACE St. Louis Program to provide affordable financing to private building owners in the City of St. Louis who want to do energy efficiency, water efficiency, or renewable energy improvements on their buildings. For more information visit

Sustainable Land Lab - Encouraging Solutions for Vacant Lot Reuse

In 2012, the City partnered with Washington University in St. Louis on this innovative competition designed to generate sustainable solutions to the challenge of having too many vacant lots in the City. Forty-eight teams submitted creative entries, and five winning teams received $5,000 and the chance to implement their sustainability idea on four vacant lots in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood. For more information and to follow progress during the second year of project implementation visit

Sustainability Media Galleries

City Corner: "Milkweed for Monarchs" - The St. Louis Butterfly Project
Interview on the Milkweeds for Monarchs Initiative

OneSTL - Community Highlight - St. Louis
OneSTL Video - Community Highlight - St. Louis

Sustainable Land Lab update -- Sunflower + Project
The Sunflower + Project, featured here, is one of five projects aimed at rethinking vacant land in St. Louis as part of the inaugural Sustainable Land Lab, a partnership between Washington University and the City of St. Louis.

Sustainability Best Practices Videos
Video vignettes encouraging sustainability best practices for people who live, work or play in the urban environment

Sustainable Lab Winners Progress Gallery
Photos of the project progress of the Sustainable Lab Winners

Solar Impulse - St. Louis Sustainability Report
Across America 2013 - St. Louis

City of St Louis: Historically & Dynamically Sustainable
Mayor Slay introduces the City's new sustainabiltiy motto: "City of St Louis: Historically & Dynamically Sustainable" and talks about some of the city's initiatives and programs.

Sustainability and the City

The City of St. Louis promotes sustainability in several ways, but is perhaps most visible in its efforts to capitalize on its dense area, existing infrastructure and rich heritage to preserve and restore buildings, many of which possess impressive historic features. Bicycle-friendly streets and widely available public transportation help decrease car usage, thereby reducing emissions and improving air quality. Sustainable practices such as low impact development and residential recycling are encouraged. The City also requires all new municipal buildings to meet energy efficiency and green building standards. With its Habitat for Humanity developments, St. Louis has one of the highest levels of LEED Platinum Homes in the country. St. Louis also ranks among the highest for historic building rehabilitations. The City has been successful in growing its population by revitalizing its downtown and diverse neighborhoods.

The City is moving forward with many important sustainability initiatives. Developing an overarching sustainability framework and climate action plan for the City are two examples of short-term efforts designed to have lasting, measurable impact. Increased emphasis is being placed on celebrating and communicating the sustainability successes of the City and its many partners, as well as expanding upon both current and prior successes in order for the City to become even more vibrant, sustainable and competitive in the years ahead.

The City just developed its first Sustainability Plan. The City started a robust public engagement effort in 2011, and issued a Draft For Public Review of its Sustainability Plan in October of 2012.  The City of St. Louis Sustainability Plan is both comprehensive and triple bottom line (economy, ecology, equity) in orientation. More information about the Plan and planning process can be found on the Sustainability Plan tab of this website.

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