LEED-ND as an urban metric

Emily Talen, Eliot Allen, Amanda Bosse, Josh Ahmann, Julia Koschinsky, Elizabeth Wentz, Luc Anselin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The LEED rating system for neighborhood development (LEED-ND) was developed in an effort to extend the certification of sustainability beyond green buildings. It has been most often used to certify a LEED-ND "project" in the same way that LEED certifies individual buildings. However, to date very few projects have been LEED-ND certified due to the significant costs in money, time and expertise involved in certifying individual projects. This paper argues that identifying LEED-ND eligible locations is more efficient at the scale of jurisdictions rather than individual projects. By identifying LEED-ND-ready parcels cities can incentivize more sustainable development in these locations and make it much more affordable for developers to utilize LEED-ND.The paper presents a methodology that identifies which parcels are compliant with the most important criterion in the LEED-ND rating system: the "Smart Location and Linkage" or SLL prerequisite. Applying the method to the City of Phoenix, just over 9000. acres in the city are found to be LEED-ND eligible lands, without constraints. This represents 26% of the candidate acreage (all vacant or redevelopable land), a somewhat higher percentage than expected. The paper further finds that LEED-ND eligible parcels in Phoenix are not approximated well by Walk Scores and that they tend to be located in areas with lower densities and lower market strength, as well as in areas with a higher proportion of renter-occupied units, including subsidized housing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-34
Number of pages15
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • GIS
  • Phoenix
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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