USGBC Selects 2023 LEED Leadership Program Cities


The U.S. Green Building Council recently announced 13 cities to participate in its LEED for Cities Local Government Leadership Program. The program aims to help local governments set goals, collect data, and validate performance through LEED for Cities certification.

“The 13 cities selected for this year’s LEED for Cities cohort are joining dozens of other communities across the U.S. that are setting and tracking goals towards better sustainability, resilience, and quality of life,” said Peter Templeton, President and CEO, USGBC.

“City and county governments understand the climate challenges their communities face and are using the LEED for Cities framework to ensure measurable progress is made in addressing them.”

According to the release, the 2023 cohort joins 77 local governments that have participated in the program since its inception. The program provides peer-to-peer networking opportunities, technical assistance and access to educational resources, and covers fees for USGBC membership, registration and certification reviews for participating governments.

The 2023 cohort of cities represents a population of nearly 3.5 million Americans, including:

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado;
  • Des Moines, Iowa;
  • Grand Junction, Colorado;
  • Lantana, Florida;
  • Largo, Florida;
  • Lawrence, Kansas;
  • Lexington, Kentucky;
  • North Miami, Florida;
  • Palm Coast, Florida;
  • Plano, Texas;
  • San Diego;
  • Scottsdale, Arizona; and
  • South Bend, Indiana.

The USGBC reports that, as of this month, more than 125 local governments have achieved LEED for Cities certification and nearly 200 are in the LEED process. The LEED for Cities system provides a road map to help jurisdictions evaluate and track progress on economic, environmental and social conditions.

Additionally, certification helps local governments achieve results such as attracting new economic activity, reaching global climate goals, improving air and water quality and enhancing quality of life for all.

Last year, Bank of America and USGBC established the program’s Equity Fellow position, a one-year grant-funded role for a person from an underrepresented community interested in working at the intersection of social equity, sustainability and the built environment.

“Buildings and communities have the ability to regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of those who inhabit them,” said Alex Liftman, Global Environmental Executive at Bank of America.

“USGBC is at the forefront of driving the development of green buildings and spaces, and through our long-standing partnership we have seen the creation of more prosperous, resilient and equitable communities. We are looking forward to seeing these 13 cities’ hard-work and action result in LEED for Cities certification.”

Since 2011, Bank of America has reportedly provided more than $4.1 million in total grant funding to the non-profit. The company has nearly 18 million square feet of certified green building space (25% of its corporate real estate) and has a goal to achieve certification for 40% of its space by 2030.

Recent USGBC News

In January, the USGBC announced its Top 10 States for LEED green building. Upon review of each state’s LEED-certified gross square footage per capita over the past year, it was determined that in 2022 Massachusetts returned to the top after losing its spot to Illinois in 2021.

In the state of Massachusetts, 96 buildings encompassing over 26 million square feet were LEED-certified in 2022, equating to nearly 3.7 LEED-certified square feet per resident.

Of those states making the top 10 list, USGBC reported that in 2022 1,225 projects and nearly 353 million gross square feet were certified under LEED. The top 10 list of states and their respective square feet per capita are as follows:

  1. Massachusetts – 3.76 square feet per capita;
  2. Illinois – 3.48 square feet per capita;
  3. New York – 3.17 square feet per capita;
  4. California – 2.44 square feet per capita;
  5. Maryland – 2.39 square feet per capita;
  6. Georgia – 2.25 square feet per capita;
  7. Colorado – 2.17 square feet per capita;
  8. Virginia – 1.89 square feet per capita;
  9. Texas – 1.67 square feet per capita; and
  10. Oregon – 1.43 square feet per capita.

As a federal territory, Washington, D.C., does not appear in the official top 10 list of states, but it has consistently led the nation in LEED-certified square footage per capita, in part because of the federal government and the District’s ongoing commitments to green building.

In 2022, the nation’s capital certified 46.06 square feet of space per resident across 115 green building projects.


Tagged categories: Certifications and standards; Color + Design; Design; Design - Commercial; Good Technical Practice; Government; Green building; Green design; LEED; LEED v4; LEED v4; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Sustainability; United States Green Building Council (USGBC)

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