(BLOOMINGTON) – Wednesday, the City of Bloomington announces its participation in the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED for Cities and Communities grant program.
In the process of becoming a LEED-certified city, Bloomington will receive financial assistance, educational resources, and technical support to increase and enhance practices that support a sustainable, healthy, and equitable way of life. The USGBC LEED program will also support the City’s existing efforts to track and verify performance for a wide variety of sustainability indicators, including energy, water, transportation, education, health, and more.
“Bloomington demonstrates our commitment to sustainability on multiple fronts — from our efforts to increase renewable energy generation, expand our trail infrastructure, maintain safe water supply and other environmental initiatives, to furthering equity and economic development,” said Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton. “Achieving LEED certification will provide a nationally recognized framework for our practices and promote our identity as a sustainability leader.”
Having developed its LEED green building certification system in the 1990s, USGBC expanded its purview beyond individual buildings in launching the LEED for Cities and Communities grant program in 2018. Designed to encourage the development of smart cities and resilient communities, the program launched with six participating U.S. cities. With support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the program has expanded to 15 more cities and communities, including Bloomington, according to an announcement released by the USGBC today.
Applications from cities seeking LEED certification were evaluated on demonstrated need, leadership support, commitment to data-driven decision-making, staff capacity and coordination with other local initiatives. The City’s Sustainability Action Plan and established practices of tracking and sharing data were considered assets in its application.
Representatives from all participating cities will attend a two-day, in-person orientation at USGBC headquarters in Washington, D.C., in early June 2019. USGBC staff will walk the new communities through the rating system and evaluation measures and lead them through a number of hands-on exercises to calculate scores and develop an action plan for the year.
After the training, cities, and communities will start to align their existing programs and plans with the LEED rating system using project management tools and resources provided by USGBC. Then, they will gather data on the evaluation measures of their choice from the rating system and enter data into reporting tools. The cohort of local governments will meet regularly throughout the year to report progress and share best practices.
Learn more about the USGBC LEED for Cities and Communities programs.