USGBC Adds to List of LEED-Certified Cities

Launched in 2016, the two USGBC programs track sustainability outcomes based on a set of more than a dozen metrics.

Over the past month, the U.S. Green Building Council recognized four new LEED-certified cities and communities—Chicago, San Jose, Calif., and the County of San Diego have achieved LEED Platinum, while the city of Lancaster, Pa., celebrated its LEED Gold certification.

LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities are pilot programs launched in 2016 that measure and track city and community sustainability outcomes based on 14 key metrics, including energy, water, waste, transportation, education, health, safety, prosperity and equitability.

Green winners

Chicago, the third-largest city in the U.S., is the seventh municipality in the world to achieve LEED Platinum. It has met 40 percent of its Paris Agreement goals and more than 65 percent of its office space portfolio has received a green building certification.

Lancaster, Pa., is the first city in the state to be LEED-certified. The award recognizes the important role smaller cities play in sustainability matters. The city had already been recognized in the early days of the smart growth movement for its land preservation practices.

San Diego County is the first county in California to achieve the distinction, thanks to its focus on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, reducing water consumption, promoting more sustainable land conservation and development and improving resiliency countywide.

San Jose, Calif., is the first city in the state to earn LEED for Cities certification. The Platinum certification recognizes the city’s sustainability leadership in several areas, including Climate Smart San Jose—a zero waste strategic plan and reducing vehicle miles traveled.

Previously certified cities and communities include Washington D.C., Arlington County, Va., Phoenix, Savona, Italy, and Surat, India.

Images courtesy of USGBC