NRDC is pleased to announce the publication of A Citizen’s Guide to LEED-for Neighborhood Development. The Guide is a handbook to help anyone interested in green practices learn, in user-friendly fashion, the ingredients that can make a neighborhood-scale development green. It is available on the web for free. For more about the Guide, start here. To proceed directly to download, go here.
LEED-ND is a comprehensive and logical rating system that reflects the most current thinking about smart, green, sustainable, and well-designed neighborhoods. For neighborhood-scale development to be certified by the US Green Building Council as environmentally exemplary, it must meet the criteria contained in the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system. The rating system was developed by USGBC, NRDC, and the Congress for the New Urbanism. It is administered by USGBC.
But the principles embodied in LEED-ND can be applied to situations other than those in which a development is seeking certification. While the formal LEED-ND process is a technical one, the Citizen’s Guide is user-friendly and accessible, to help anyone learn about environmental standards for green land development and become an advocate for implementing these standards in their own communities. NRDC hopes this handbook for citizens will help promote greater widespread adoption of sustainable practices to create more inclusive, healthy, and environmentally sound places for everyone.
The Guide simplifies the three major sections of the formal rating system:
• Smart Location and Linkage: Where to Build
• Neighborhood Pattern and Design: What to Build
• Green Infrastructure and Buildings: How to Manage Environmental Impacts
It also includes some creative suggestions to help users get started using LEED-ND’s diverse standards to evaluate and improve development proposals, to guide improvements to neighborhoods, to inform community planning and zoning, or to inform other policy-making.
The Guide also includes a “Sustainable Neighborhood Development Checklist.” The checklist is a sort of “crib sheet” for every LEED-ND credit and prerequisite, presenting them in an easy-to-use format for evaluating development proposals, assessing existing neighborhoods, and informing community planning and policy.
For more information about A Citizen’s Guide to LEED for Neighborhood Development, start here. To proceed directly to download, go here.
Visit Kaid’s sustainable communities blog at http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kbenfield/