CITYWIDE — Santa Monica’s environmental efforts were recognized April 17 when City Hall received the 2012 Siemens Sustainable Community Award in the midsize community category.

Chicago and Purcellville, Va. were also honored for their sustainable efforts, winning in the large and small community categories, respectively.

“We’re honored and energized to be the winners of the Siemens Sustainable Community Award,” said Mayor Richard Bloom. “Our Sustainable City Plan sets ambitious goals that guide our decisions and provides a model for other communities that wish to become more sustainable.”

Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis accepted the award at the U.S. Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center National Conference in Atlanta.

As part of the award, Santa Monica will receive $20,000 worth of trees from the Alliance for Community Trees.

City Hall’s application focused on strategic planning initiatives, like the recently adopted Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), which dictates development in Santa Monica. Judges noted Santa Monica’s excellence in areas like resource conservation, economic growth, transportation and human services.

The Sustainable Community Awards were created by Siemens and the U.S. Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center in 2008 to reward U.S. communities taking steps to become stewards of the environment.

— Samantha Masunaga

SECOND STREET

Bike Center honored

In a city where sustainability is king, the push for increased bicycling comes as no surprise.

That effort was rewarded this week when the Santa Monica Bike Center was recognized as a Silver Award Bicycle Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists.

The distinction is shared by more than 400 local businesses across the U.S. that are changing the connotation of commuting.

The center is the first business in Santa Monica to be recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Business.

“Santa Monica Bike Center is at the forefront of a movement to make American businesses more competitive, sustainable and attractive to the best and brightest employees,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “An investment in bicycling enhances employee health, increases sustainability and improves the bottom line.”

The center was created by the city of Santa Monica in November with funding from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to encourage residents to ride bicycles to work, or as a means to catch regional transit.

The center has two locations in Downtown and offers amenities like secure, indoor bicycle parking, lockers, showers and bike repair.

“The Bike Center is committed to promoting bicycling as a healthy, efficient and cost effective mode for daily trips and we hope our BFB Silver Award will inspire other businesses in the community to become more bicycle friendly,” said Ron Durgin, general manager of the center.

— SM