In June, USGBC hosted 30 local government leaders for a multi-day, in-person training on LEED v4.1 for Cities and Communities. The training was targeted to the 15 U.S. cities and counties selected to participate in the 2019 LEED for Cities and Communities grant program, funded by the Bank of American Charitable Foundation.
Bringing local leaders together helps build peer exchange and capacity to advance sustainability goals and outcomes. The training participants benefited from having a diverse group of elected and appointed officials and staff in attendance:
- Public works and environmental services directors shared their experiences administering programs and making infrastructure improvements.
- Smart cities and data officers expressed the need for streamlined reporting and clear methodologies.
- Sustainability directors considered how to use their position to motivate key staff.
- Elected officials provided ideas for engaging new voices in the process.
Communities were encouraged to connect and share as they work toward LEED for Cities and Communities certification. Recently adopted plans, like the City of Miami’s unified resilience plan and Baltimore’s 2019 sustainability plan, offered examples of best practices for attendees.
Over the two days, project teams explored the rating system’s framework of prerequisites and credits and performed a gap analysis to inform their approach to certification. Project teams received step-by-step guidance for completing the new ecosystem and demographic assessment prerequisites and entered their data for the 14 performance prerequisites.
Getting organized around data-driven performance management and decision-making was a goal of the training. City and county leaders were oriented to the Integrative Planning and Leadership credit as a guide for building their LEED for Cities and Communities team and developing a road map to certification. They performed a self-assessment of the available credits and identified contacts, by department, that would likely have available data and documentation.
Finally, each project team mapped out their next steps, including goals for the next two weeks and two months. City leaders highlighted potential policies for 2019 that could contribute toward their applications. Others noted specific data gaps, such as the difficulty in gathering consistent solid waste metrics. Each community has unique challenges and gaps, but finding solutions together is empowering, and can ultimately lead to innovation and transformation.
USGBC will soon share the results of the cohort’s work with the greater USGBC community. In the meantime, to learn more about LEED for Cities and Communities, please sign up for email news about the rating system.