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Nationally, we are developing land twice as fast as our population is growing; 30% of all developed land in the U.S. was developed between 1982 and 2001. As destinations have spread farther apart, vehicle use has grown accordingly, as have the resulting emissions. Since 1970, the number of miles driven in the U.S. per year has grown from 1 trillion to more than 2.8 trillion. Sprawl patterns of development endanger farmland and wilderness; from 1992-1997, the nation lost six million acres of farmland, and sprawling land use has been named a leading cause of overall species imperilment.
The development of LEED-ND was initiated in order to address these environmental issues and others. It will also help USGBC respond to criticism that some existing LEED credits are harder for smart growth projects to earn.
LEED-ND is unique among the LEED family of products in that it is a joint venture of the LEED-ND Partnership with USGBC, Natural Resources Defense Council (representing the wider smart growth constituency), and the Congress for the New Urbanism. The LEED-ND Partnership was created through a Memorandum of Understanding between the three organizations in December 2002.
We have thus far obtained grant funding to support the development of LEED-ND from EPA’s Office of Brownfields Cleanup and Redevelopment; EPA’s Division of Development, Community, and Environment; the Centers for Disease Control; and the Blue Moon Fund.
In May 2004, the LEED-ND Core Committee was established and convened. Between May and December, we worked to develop an initial framework of subcommittees and began drafting potential credits for the rating system. Throughout 2004, we also held stakeholder sessions at major conferences for all three partner constituencies. In December 2004, we held our second core committee retreat to review the subcommittee work and strategize next steps.
Although development of LEED-ND has just begun, we have seen a great deal of latent interest in LEED-ND, as evidenced by the number of people who have signed up for the corresponding committee, which was made available in March of 2004: 630 total, including 260 USGBC members and 370 nonmembers.
Last edited by Heather Smith. Page last modified on July 12, 2005