Primer

Certified Communities: When Greening Neighborhoods One Building at a Time Isn’t Enough

A comparison of community-scale certification programs.

December 11, 2017

Within the design and construction industry there is a growing sense of urgency to find sustainability and resilience solutions that can be applied at scale. One way to do this is to focus on neighborhoods, and over the past few years several organizations have responded by launching programs designed to support this strategy. (For an in-depth discussion of district-scale approaches to sustainability, see our feature article Community-Scale Sustainability: Accelerating Change for People and Planet.)

While some of these programs have been around for a while, such as LEED for Neighborhood Development, others, like the WELL Community Standard, are only in pilot phases. And though programs like LEED have trained us to think in terms of projects earning certification, that’s not necessarily the goal here. 2030 Districts, for example, does not offer a certification at all.