Hilari Varnadore
2 minute read

Apply by March 22 to this new grant program for local U.S. governments.

To realize a sustainable future for all, the next generation of green building must focus on the development of smart cities and resilient communities. To further that goal, USGBC and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation have created the LEED for Cities and Communities Grant Program to provide support to a cohort of local governments pursuing certification under the LEED for Cities and Communities rating system.

The program will build capacity among local governments in pursuing LEED certification and using certification results to improve community conditions. At least 14 U.S. cities and counties will be selected to receive award packages valued at approximately $25,000 each.

Applications will be evaluated on demonstrated need, leadership support, commitment to data-driven decision-making, staff capacity and coordination with other local initiatives.

All recipients will receive an award package including

  • One annual USGBC Silver membership;
  • LEED for Cities and Communities registration and certification;
  • Access to the Arc reporting platform to encourage city/county continuous improvement and ability to explore opportunities for managed/owned affordable housing units;
  • A two-day, in-person orientation workshop with other selected communities for two local government officials/staff;
  • One registration to attend the Greenbuild Conference and Expo and the Communities and Affordable Homes Summit in Atlanta in November 2019; and
  • Access to online education resources, USGBC technical assistance and monthly conference calls.

Timeline and process

The program will kick off with a two-day, in-person orientation for two representatives from each community in late May or early June 2019. USGBC staff will walk the new communities through the rating system and evaluation measures, and lead them through a number of hands-on exercises to calculate scores and develop an action plan for the year.

After the training, communities will start to align their existing programs and plans with the rating system using project management tools and resources provided by USGBC. Then, they will gather data on the evaluation measures of their choice from the rating system and enter data into reporting tools.

The cohort of local governments will meet regularly throughout the year to report progress and share best practices. Each community will receive a dedicated USGBC coordinator who will provide feedback and support.

For more details, view the full grants summary and application.

2019–2020 LEED for Cities and Communities Grant Program Timeline

Feb. 21March 22, 2019

Grant applications open

March 7, 2019

Webcast for interested applicants

April 5, 2019

Grant recipients notified

April/May 2019

Intro call with USGBC staff

May/June 2019

In-person orientation and kickoff training (location and date TBD)

Summer 2019

Core data collection and reporting efforts

Sept/Oct 2019

Submission for certification in order to be announced at Greenbuild

November 2019

Greenbuild sessions and recognition opportunities (Atlanta, GA)

January 2020

Reflection on local strengths and weaknesses and prioritizing the work ahead; feedback on program

For answers to your questions, attend the webinar "Applying to the 2019 LEED for Cities and Communities Grant Program" on March 7 at 11 a.m. EST. Register for the webinar.

View application instructions and eligibility criteria in the program guide.

Apply for the LEED for Cities and Communities grant