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.


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 priority initiatives for Sustainability Plan implementation for the coming five years. The Mayor's Sustainability Summit III :: implement was held Nov 6-9, 2013. Updates and related documents will be posted shortly; check back soon or sign up to receive e-blasts with sustainability news.

Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative

In 2013 the City launched a Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative. Two initial efforts were creating a Sustainable Neighborhood Toolkit of resources and holding a Sustainable Neighborhood Small Grant Competition. Seven small grant winners were announced July 1. To learn more, please visit

Sustainable Land Lab

The City partnered with Washington University 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. Follow their progress here.

Sustainability News & Resources

Click here to view four 30-second sustainability best practice videos created by Nine Network of Public Media.

Click here to see the City's most recent Sustainability Newsletter.

Click here to see 10 Sustainability Successes in the City of St. Louis.

Stay Informed

If you would like to receive sustainability e-blast news, send an email to

Sustainability Internships

The Office of the Mayor is seeking interns with experience in sustainability for Fall 2014. These are unpaid positions but very important to advancing sustainability in the City. For reference, please view the summer internship description and process but note that the summer positions have been filled.

Logo with red

Milkweeds for Monarchs

On Earth Day 2014, Mayor Slay announced the launch of a new initiative designed to foster the connection between people and urban natural resources. Milkweeds for Monarchs: The St. Louis Butterfly Project is an initiative out of the Mayor's Sustainability Action Agenda. The first year goals are to create 250 monarch butterfly gardens throughout City neighborhoods and community spaces, so that more people will have the opportunity to experience butterflies in the City. 

Information about what plants to use and how to create a butterfly garden is available. We anticipate conducting additional outreach  and holding community events in conjunction with this initiative. Please check back for updates, such as possible plant giveaway opportunities. We will also be tracking the 250 gardens, so be sure to share a photo with us and learn how to get recognition. For more information, click here.

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

Awards and Recognition

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)

Video Clip From Mayor's Sustainability Summit I

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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