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On Sept. 28, 2021, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recognized the cities of Las Vegas and San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico, for demonstrating leadership in sustainability planning. The cities were selected as part of a call by USGBC to solicit comprehensive plans from local governments that are aligned with the LEED for Cities framework and demonstrate best practices in planning.
The LEED for Cities rating system supports local governments as they make plans and guide the allocation of resources and patterns of future development. By incorporating sustainability principles into local plans, a community can transition from talking about sustainability in the abstract to identifying best practices and designing and implementing solutions. More than 110 jurisdictions around the globe are LEED certified.
“Cities, towns and counties play a big role in shaping the quality of life of their residents,” said Hilari Varnadore, vice president for cities at USGBC. “Planning for a more equitable, resilient and sustainable future is crucial as urban areas continue to grow. Las Vegas and San Pedro Garza Garcia are leading the way and are shining examples of how LEED can be a resource for local governments.”
Las Vegas used the LEED for Cities framework to create its 2050 Master Plan, a 30-year comprehensive plan intended to foster community-driven implementation and improve quality of life for all residents. San Pedro Garza Garcia seeks to improve quality of life across neighborhoods, as part of its required city development plan.
Along with the recognition, USGBC has released LEED for Cities: Integrating Sustainability into Planning, a guide for local governments. This new resource provides guidance and case studies on how cities, towns and counties are using the rating system framework to align and guide sustainability, climate and comprehensive plans.
USGBC asked applicants to demonstrate how their plans were systems-based, actionable, accountable and developed with meaningful public engagement. Other cities that have recently adopted plans that are aligned with LEED for Cities include Bloomington, Indiana.; Cape Canaveral, Florida; Claremont, California; Northbrook, Illinois; and Houston.