San José is the third largest city in California and the largest in the Bay Area, just 50 miles from San Francisco. As home to the largest concentration of technical expertise in the world (according to the city’s website), San José boasts a thriving economy and a world-renowned quality of life.

However, San José has never been one to rest on its laurels. So in 2007, the city adopted a 15-year plan, known as Green Vision, which outlines ten ambitious goals designed to transform San José into the "world center for clean technology innovation." By promoting cutting-edge sustainable practices, the city aims to demonstrate that economic growth, environmental stewardship, and fiscal responsibility are inextricably linked.

The Green Vision plan defines specific goals for growth and improvement in ten key environmental and economic areas including clean tech jobs, reduced energy use, renewable energy, green buildings, zero waste, recycled water, sustainable development, clean fleet vehicles, new trees, zero emission streetlights and interconnected trails and on-street bikeways.

The city is actively partnering with residents, local nonprofits, regional organizations, and businesses to achieve these goals by 2022 and together they’ve already made significant headway. Each goal is tracked and available for public review on its Green Vision website.

In an effort to stay at the forefront in the green technology field, San José encourages both established clean tech companies and start-up firms to stay and grow in the city by providing incentives and services at every stage of a company’s growth. The city has obtained over $4 billion in venture capital for clean technology since 2007 and was recently rated the number one city in which to start a clean tech business by Business Week. Of the 25,000 new clean tech jobs cited in the Green Vision goals, over 4,000 have already been created.

The Green Vision goals have a combined emphasis on economic prosperity, environmental responsibility and improved quality of life for city residents—all of which will help the community thrive now and in future generations. By winning the 2011 Siemens Sustainable Community Award in the large community category, San José is seen as a “model 21st century city.”

(Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center

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