The City of Atlanta, this year’s Greenbuild host city, marked the 100th certification.
USGBC launched LEED for Cities and Communities in 2016 as a globally consistent framework for measuring and tracking sustainability at the city and community scale. The rating system tracks progress across key performance indicators, including energy, waste, water, transportation, resilience, health and equity. Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and USGBC’s President and CEO Mahesh Ramanujam announced the city’s certification and work during the conference’s Wednesday keynote.
“We have been envisioning a new way forward for the growth of resilient, green, inclusive and smart cities and communities and believe that by focusing on performance, we can better understand how our decisions impact the planet and our quality of life,” said Ramanujam. “Celebrating this milestone with the City of Atlanta here at Greenbuild is a tremendous honor. Atlanta’s work is an inspiration and shows how sustainability can be a tool for addressing some of the challenges residents are facing, while also helping to reduce carbon, energy and waste, and conserve water. Atlanta and the more than 100 other LEED-certified cities and communities help open the door for new businesses and stimulates a robust green, economy.”
Atlanta’s Resilience Strategy was a central tenant contributing to its certification and builds on both the challenges and opportunities the city faces. By making resilience a key part of its sustainability strategy, the city is focused on efforts that support residents and address some of the region’s more pressing issues. Initiatives include the Atlanta Resilience Equity and Design Collective (RED Lab) partnership with Georgia Tech to help residents use data and technology to solve community issues that contribute to or detract from the livability of their neighborhoods. The EV Rideshare Program provides transportation services to those with low mobility access, including previously incarcerated individuals. Additionally, the city’s Clean Energy Plan is intended to move Atlanta to 100 percent clean energy by prioritizing equity and affordable clean energy options. The city has also made impressive strides in reducing energy consumption in buildings through the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge and reached its 2020 goal of 20 percent reduction ahead of schedule.