Strip malls and dead-end roads not only complicate everyday tasks, but they also expand our carbon footprints. Yet many municipalities decide to get away from sprawl and go "green" only to find they don't know how to get there. The Technical Guidance Manual for Sustainable Neighborhoods and the Neighborhood Development Floating Zone are two tools that help municipalities steer clear of the legal missteps along the way.
The Technical Guidance Manual bridges the gap between the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system and comprehensive planning by outlining ways professionals working for or with municipalities can integrate LEED - ND into land use laws, plans, and policies and promote more environmentally sound and economically robust communities.
The Neighborhood Development Floating Zone, a model ordinance for fostering green development using the LEED - ND rating system, offers local governments an opportunity to encourage green neighborhood development when the more comprehensive zoning update the manual proposes is not an option.
Most of USGBC's LEED rating systems rate the environmental impact of buildings, but USGBC's LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system seeks to rate the sustainability of a location and take account of factors such as vehicle miles traveled, walkability, and local infrastructure. Though not a replacement for comprehensive urban planning, LEED-ND provides municipalities a way to encourage sustainable development.
These tools, the work of USGBC and the Land Use Law Center at Pace Law School, help clear the path for more municipalities to seek a greener future. Attorneys and other legal professionals involved real estate, land use, construction, or municipal law should be aware of these tools when asked to guide their clients in a green direction.
You may find the documents through the links below:
Technical Guidance Manual for Sustainable Neighborhoods - https://new.usgbc.org/resources/technical-guidance-manual-sustainable-neighborhoods
Neighborhood Development Floating Zone - https://new.usgbc.org/resources/neighborhood-development-floating-zone