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Sustainable communities

Sustainable communities look beyond a single green building by providing a variety of housing and transportation choices in a mixed-use environment. Often considered smart or dense cities, sustainable communities tend to have lower transportation costs, reduced environmental impacts and decreased stormwater runoff. Additionally, sustainable communities contribute to an improved quality of life by enhancing community connectivity, creating healthy and safe neighborhoods, and supporting local economic resilience.

Every aspect of community design—from block size to housing types—affects our lives and impacts our environment. Local governments have an opportunity to shape their future through smart community planning, community outreach, and through public policy that unlocks economic growth and market activity to achieve cleaner, greener, healthier, low-impact development.

We support: sustainable communities that are well positioned for responsible and responsive growth, while maintaining a high quality of human and environmental health. USGBC supports efforts by towns and cities to consider community-wide sustainability improvements.

Going Beyond Buildings

Going Beyond Buildings

Free download

A Local Government Guide: to LEED for Neighborhood Development

Incorporate green building into your community’s master plan

A Citizen’s Guide to LEED for Neighborhood Development: How to Tell if Development is Smart and Green

Makes the principles of LEED-ND easier to understand and use in a variety of circumstances.

Technical Guidance Manual for Sustainable Neighborhoods

Leverage the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system as a sustainability tool in your community