Before the holidays, one more very significant 2006 development in city greening and local economic development.
Boston announced this week that it will be the first major U.S. city to incorporate the US Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Environment and Energy) standards into zoning, with all buildings over 50,000 square feet required to achieve LEED standards. All municipal buildings will also be
"High performance buildings are the future," Mayor Thomas Menino told a gathering Tuesday at the Boston Redevelopment Agency, according to a statement issued by his office. The same statement cited SustainLane's US City Rankings study.
Boston ranked #7 overall out of the nation's largest 50 cities in the SustainLane US City Rankings, with the city also finishing 7th in LEED buildings per capita. In Spring 2007, New Society Press will publish How Green Is Your City? The SustainLane US City Rankings, which details how Boston and 49 other US cities performed in green buildings per capita and other green indicator, management and economic categories.
Mayor Menino announced the program Tuesday along with Jim Hunt, Director of the Boston Office of Environmental and Energy Services.
The new requirements stipulates that as part of the city's development design review process all buildings over 50,000 square feet will need to meet the basic LEED certified level. LEED also awards silver, gold and platinum standards for commercial and government buildings. A LEED residential program is being launched, as is a LEED zoning development called LEED-ND, for "Neighborhood Development," a joint project of the US GBC, The Congress for New Urbanism, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Stay tuned here next week for the Top Ten stories in state and local government sustainability policy, programs and events!