Joe Urban | Sam Newberg, Urbanist

LEED-ND Will Rock our Urban World

Dateline: 10:55 am December 26, 2006 Filed under:

The single most exciting thing my fellow urbanists should look for in 2007 is LEED-ND.

LEED for Neighborhood Development could turn the green building movement on its head. The core argument of LEED-ND is that all the environmentally-friendly buildings in the world are only partially effective without considering land use patterns. Therefore, LEED-ND ranks entire neighborhoods based on their level of sustainability, including density, transit accessibility and environmental preservation.

LEED-ND is going to be a gut check for urbanists. Will we be able to stomach seven units to the acre? Only half of Americans drive, so will we plan for all neighborhoods to have transit access and actually reduce vehicle miles traveled? Will we place a higher value on truly walkable neighborhoods? Will we treat storm water on-site and reduce runoff? If we really believe in the color green, we will support all of the above. In the words of Doug Farr, chair of the LEED-ND core committee, LEED-ND is about doing “enough of the right things.” It isn’t really a question of “can we,” but rather “will we” do enough of the right things.

The program goes to pilot in 2007. Find out more at

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