Santa Monica is situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is surrounded on three sides by the city of Los Angeles – Pacific Palisades on the northwest, Brentwood on the north, West Los Angeles on the northeast, Mar Vista on the east, and Venice on the southeast.
Because of its agreeable climate, Santa Monica had become a famed resort town by the early 20th century. The city has experienced a boom since the late 1980s through the revitalization of its downtown core with significant job growth and increased tourism. The city is also well known as one of the leading sustainable cities in all of the US. Three of every four of the city’s public works vehicles run on alternative fuel, making it among the largest such fleets in the country. All public buildings use renewable energy. In the last 15 years, the city has cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10%. City officials and residents have made the ongoing cleanup of the Santa Monica Bay a priority – an urban runoff facility catches 3.5 million gallons of water each week that would otherwise flow into the bay. Other environmental features include miles of beaches, extensive curbside recycling, farmer’s markets, community gardens, and the city’s bus system. In addition, the city of Santa Monica is consistently among the most educated cities in the United States, with 23.8 percent of all residents holding graduate degrees.
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District provides public education at the elementary and secondary levels. Private schools in the city include the Crossroads School, New Roads School, Saint Monica Catholic Elementary School, Concord High School, Pacifica Christian High, St. Anne Catholic School, Lighthouse Christian Academy and Saint Monica Catholic High School. Notable primary schools include the Carlthorp School and Santa Monica Montessori School.