How Reading is becoming a 21st Century City

How Reading is becoming a 21st Century City

Learning, caring and working together as a community to enhance and ensure livability and sustainability are ways that Reading can become a 21st Century City. Brian Kelly, Executive Director, ReDesign Reading is hosting this new educational series about how Reading is becoming a 21st Century City. Brian introduces us to the STAR Community Framework and the different ways it is used to measure sustainability and livability in a city and/or community.  He breaks down the specific goals within the STAR framework in easy to understand short educational soundbytes.  This series is designed and produced for YOU so you can arm yourself with as much information and awareness as possible to join in the efforts of making our City of Reading and beyond the best it can be. This is overview form the areas of Built Environment, Climate & Energy, Economy & Jobs, Equity & Empowerment, Education, Art & Community, Healthy & Safety, and Natural Systems.  Brian Kelly Director of Redesign Reading talks about this areas and what's the importance of them for How Reading is becoming a 21st Century City.

Sustainability, What it really means?

Sustainability - what does it really mean?

Brian Kelly helps to break down the STAR Rating System - a sustainability tool for assessing and measuring sustainability city to city. In this episode he answers the questions - What does Sustainability mean? How can we compare sustainability from city to city? The STAR rating system helps to answer these questions.


Measuring Livability

Measuring livability helps to access and measure a city's sustainability.  Brian Kelly correlates the things we value in our community such as a great transportation network; a safe environment; great schools; jobs and healthy food access; to how each of these things contribute to measuring a community's livability.

EP1 What is Built Environment

What is Built Environment?

Built Environment (a measured goal of the STAR sustainability tool) is a description of the physical traits of a community and how they relate to what we have i.e. water systems; public spaces (parks, trails). Built Environment asks questions such as "where do we live, work and play?" "What is the ease of access to getting food, or going to work?". Brian Kelly breaks down how all of this fits together.

EP2 What is Climate & Energy

Climate and Energy

There's room for growth. Climate and Energy is about a community's plan for extreme climate events.  What's vulnerable based on climate projections and how will we adapt? Brian Kelly breaks it down for us.

EP3 What is Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

What is it like to work here in our community? Do we have more businesses this year than we had last year? Do we have more jobs this year than we had last year? Are wages going up or down? What are the trend lines indicating around these issues and what are we doing with that information?

EP4 What is Equity & Empowerment

Equity and Empowerment

Socially, how are the different elements of our community integrated? The equity and empowerment goal in the STAR framework looks at 1. Do people who live in your community feel like they have influence over decisions that are made that impact their lives? and 2. Are people engaged in different activities that show they care about their community? Brian breaks down how this is measured and how action is taken from those measurements.

EP5 What is Education Arts Community

Education and the Arts

Brian Kelly describes the importance of education and arts and how it is defined under this goal of the STAR Framework. He talks about issues such as "Are the arts and cultural activities available to all in the community?"; "Do these activities reflect the makeup of who lives in the community?". This goal in the framework also looks at social and cultural diversity within boards, commissions, etc. and how they need to reflect the reality of your community.

EP6 What is Health and Safety

Health and Safety

The STAR Framework's Health and Safety goal has 5-7 objectives that a community can be measured against. Examples are: Do you have an emergency evacuation plan?; How is air quality measured? How much food do we produce? What is the future of our food security? Brian Kelly gives examples in this episode of how the City of Reading measured up against this goal and particularly the food supply topics.

EP7 What is Natural Systems

Natural Systems

How are we making sure we are not destroying our physical environment? Everything we do, food, water, product, communication, is taken from nature and how do we protect it? We need to consider our man-made elements (green structures), invasive species, outdoor air quality and also the water environment - how do we protect these important systems?