For local governments working on a climate action plan, revising a green building ordinance, looking to incentivize transit-oriented development or tackle other similar problems this paper explores pursuing the LEED for Neighborhood Development certification as a catalyst for doing so. It reviews the basics of the LEED ND certification, the constraints facing municipalities with regard to LEED ND, and four approaches used in successful communities.
Four key approaches are highlighted in this guide:
- Lead By Example
- Remove Barriers and Pave the Way
- The Case for Incentives
- Technical Assistance and Education
These four approaches include strategies at different levels of involvement, from direct participation in a project, like Symphony Park in Las Vegas, to identifying LEED-ND as an important tool for policymakers, as in the City of Albuquerque Climate Action Plan. LEED for Neighborhood Development can serve as a resource for whatever your sustainability goals might be, supporting your plan of action and moving one step closer to lasting change. The U.S. Green Building Council developed this resource with input from members of the LEED for Neighborhood Development Core Committee, representatives from local and state governments and stakeholder associations which represent these entities. USGBC expects to revise and expand this guidance periodically to reflect any changes to the rating system or innovative policy approaches devised by state and local governments.
LEED for Neighborhood Development is a rating system that incorporates the principles of smart growth, New Urbanism, and green building into a national standard for green neighborhood design. Like other LEED design and construction rating systems, it is a voluntary program designed to evaluate and guide the design and construction of development projects. The rating system distills the experience of leading professionals in environmental policy and the building industry, and the U.S. Green Building Council, the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, into objective, measurable criteria. Through certification, LEED for Neighborhood Development recognizes development projects that successfully protect and enhance the overall health and quality of our natural environment and our communities.