Where smart cities meet sustainability
The LEED for Cities certification program is revolutionizing city planning, development and operations, while also improving life for citizens around the world.
Using the Arc performance platform, LEED for Cities projects can measure and manage their city’s water consumption, energy use, waste, transportation and human experience. A detailed view of citywide performance is now at your fingertips.
Why LEED certify your city?
LEED for Cities brings a new level of leadership to cities around the world. Use LEED for Cities to benchmark your city’s current performance, and transform your city into the place to be. Home in on the targeted metrics for a particular initiative and communicate continuous improvement; educate residents, visitors and business owners to enable continuous improvement; demonstrate your city’s commitment to sustainability, human health and economic prosperity.
Track and report progress towards meeting your city’s emissions targets. By submitting greenhouse gas emissions based on energy consumption and other sources, you can also support your country in meeting its climate action goals. In addition, you’ll be able to communicate your city’s sustainability performance and goals in a consistent format that is used around the world.
Adopt LEED-based strategies that help to reduce energy, water, waste, pollution and CO2 at the city scale, and in turn improve air and water quality. Learn innovative strategies from a global network of projects and partners.
Start with a modest number of data streams and metrics, and ramp up as your city seeks deeper engagement. The program functions at multiple scales. Focus your efforts on an eco-district or micro grid, a neighborhood, a business improvement district, a disadvantaged area of the city, or use the program city wide. The scale is up to you.
LEED for Cities aims to be an aggregator of and supplement to other important initiatives and tools including:
- STAR Communities, ISO 37120, C40 Cities, ICLEI’s ClearPath and Heat+ tools, CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), The Climate Registry, or the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
LEED for Cities engages everyone, from private sector businesses and NGOs, public partners, to utilities.
- Foundations and private sector donors want to see results but affecting change at the city scale can take time.
- Increasingly, cities need to work with utilities on resilience and mitigation; LEED for Cities will support a new level of engagement with electric utilities, connecting them to strategies and performance metrics developed for the sector, like the PEER rating system for sustainable power systems.
- New ways of collaborating in Arc are underway. Arc can help focus collaborative action among public and private partners, to enable cities to attract more private sector participants and private sector funding (e.g., municipal green bonds) and streamline coordination processes among stakeholders.
At USGBC, we have a vision that buildings and communities will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation. And we know that in order to realize a sustainable future for all, the next generation of green building must focus on the development of smart cities and resilient communities. Our cities must champion equitable, safe and healthy development policies, implement interoperable platforms and advanced technologies that improve the performance of their communities and cities, and continue to incorporate concepts like wellness and human experience into city planning, development and management.
But cities face many challenges in this day and age – citizens are demanding more transparency and information about the places where they live, work, learn and play.
LEED for Cities allows us to address these concerns on a global scale. Now more than ever, local governments are becoming laboratories of innovation and are committing to novel ways for social problem solving. Leaders, especially in growing cities, have an enormous opportunity to initiate a dynamic dialogue with citizens and earn their trust in the process. LEED for Cities is also a timely way to accelerate the great leadership now being shown by cities and demonstrate value.
By looking at what LEED has done for buildings and neighborhood developments, we at USGBC asked how we bring our experience with market transformation to support cities. With LEED, the ability to synthesize many detailed performance metrics into easily understood scores to enable internal and external comparison, was key. We have been focusing on research and development: what data do cities have? What metrics capture cities’ objectives? What comparisons do cities want to make? How can we foster streamlined intra-operability among a myriad of green and resilient city programs advancing varied strategies for performance?
We saw that cities need a flexible, credible and globally consistent way to communicate continuous performance across an array of objectives and to different types of stakeholders. And, cities are seeking ways to compare and benchmark aspects of their performance to other cities, in a simple way.
Yes, LEED for Cities is flexible and supports your city’s goals. Cities can start with a modest number of data streams/metrics, and expand as a city seeks deeper engagement. LEED for Cities can function at multiple scales. A city might focus on an Eco-district or micro grid, a neighborhood, a disadvantaged area of the city, or citywide. A business improvement district or private developer might focus on their particular part of a community.