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Just released! Expanded LEED v4.1 for Cities and Communities

This past summer, STAR Communities announced that it had formally merged with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). STAR certification programs, services and staff have now transitioned into the LEED for Cities and Communities program at USGBC. 

For most of 2018, we have been building a new, expanded rating system and certification program that includes elements of the STAR Community Rating System, the pilot LEED for Cities metrics, LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) and other GBCI rating systems such as PEER and SITES. The resulting framework is similar to the STAR framework, but in the context of LEED and with a broader diversity of project types that will be using the system.

This December, we are proud to release the draft LEED v4.1 for Cities and Communities beta. The draft is now available to download online and includes the following updates:

  • Integration of the high-performance metrics from the successful LEED for Cities pilot, time-tested standards from the STAR Community Rating System, and elements of key GBCI green energy and infrastructure rating systems like PEER and SITES.
  • Triple bottom line approach with scaleable metrics that work for neighborhood developments and sustainable districts, all the way to the city, county, and regional level.
  • Flexible pathways to measure and advance local progress, including performance standards and proven strategies for improvement.
  • Offerings for the plan and design of new cities and communities, as well as recognition for performance in existing cities and communities.
  • Greater focus on improved social equity and quality of life.

As a product in beta, USGBC is offering several pathways for feedback from stakeholders. In addition to submitting written comments (to cities@usgbc.org), we will be hosting a series of working sessions to delve deeper into the requirements, in general and by category. These informal working sessions are facilitated discussions intended to identify both strengths and critical issues.

Each working session will be held via webinar in a “fishbowl” format. Registration is open to all to listen. A panel of 10+/- subject experts, representing a diversity of perspectives, will be selected to participate directly in the conversation. The discussion will be recorded and the insights will help inform edits to the draft. Those participants in “listen-only mode” are strongly encouraged to submit their written comments after the session to cities@usgbc.org.

To register for a working session, please click the link to the appropriate session below.

2019 Dates


(Click link to register)



Monday, January 14 General Overview 11 am – 1 pm
Wednesday, January 16 Quality of Life: Community 11 am – 1 pm
Friday, January 18 Quality of Life: Equity Focus 11 am – 1 pm
Wednesday, January 23 Energy & GHG Emissions 11 am – 1 pm
Friday, January 25 Water 11 am – 1 pm
Monday, January 28 Transportation & Land Use 11 am – 1 pm
Friday, February 1 Ecology & Natural Systems 11 am – 1 pm
Monday, February 4 Materials & Resources 11 am – 1 pm


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