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Washington earns platinum award

It is named the first LEED Platinum City and sets the bar for smart cities around the world

Washington DC aims to achieve its sustainability targets under the Smarter DC project
Washington DC aims to achieve its sustainability targets under the Smarter DC project

Washington DC is the first recipient of the leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) for Cities Platinum award in the world.


The LEED Platinum certification recognises the outcomes, rather than intent, of the city’s leadership in creating a sustainable and resilient built environment, which includes: reducing greenhouse gas emissions; supporting clean energy innovation; and focusing on inclusive prosperity and livability in all eight wards.


“It is in the best interest of Washington DC’s safety, economy, and future to take sustainability and resiliency seriously, and as the nation’s capital, we have a special obligation to lead the way on environmental issues,” said Muriel Bowser, mayor of the city.


“We are proud to be recognised as the world’s first LEED Platinum city. Our commitment to these issues will not yield, and we look forward to continuing to build a greener, more resilient, and more sustainable DC.”


LEED is, reportedly, the most widely used green building rating system in the world and is designed to help buildings achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health.


LEED for Cities was launched last year and enables cities to measure and communicate performance, focusing on outcomes from ongoing sustainability efforts across an array of metrics, including energy, water, waste, transportation, and human experience (which includes education, prosperity, equity and health and safety).


LEED for Cities projects benchmark and track performance using Arc, a digital platform that uses data to provide greater transparency into sustainability efforts and helps cities make more informed decisions.


“Washington, DC is setting the bar for smart cities all around the world by leveraging technology and data to achieve sustainability and resiliency goals, creating healthy and safe communities where citizens can thrive,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO at the US Green Building Council (USGBC) which administers the accreditation.


“Mayor Bowser and the city are once again showing that our nation’s capital is performing at the highest levels and that its buildings, neighborhoods and communities are as sustainable as possible.”


Throughout the Bowser Administration, Washington DC has served as a leading city on issues of sustainability.


As the District looks to achieve the goals of the Sustainable DC Plan and the targets of the Paris Climate Accord, tracking and improving upon the city’s progress is essential. As part of achieving these goals, under Smarter DC, the office of the chief technology officer works to develop more open access to data and LEED for Cities will be a valuable tool in these efforts.


"Smarter DC is fundamentally about leveraging technology strategically to deliver a more sustainable, resilient, equitable, and healthy city transparently," said chief technology officer Vemulapalli. "This recognition was only attainable by working together to deliver real outcomes for the District."


Over the past 2.5 years, the administration has released Climate Ready DC, entered into one of the largest municipal onsite solar projects in the US, completed the largest wind power purchase agreement deal of its kind ever entered into by a US city, launched Sustainable DC 2.0, and, most recently, signed a mayor’s order pledging to uphold the commitments in the Paris Climate Accord.


Two thirds (65 per cent) of DC neighborhoods are walkable, three fifths (58 per cent) of commuter trips are by bike, walking, or public transit, and the DC Government is 100 per cent powered by renewable energy. DC also claims it is on track to derive at least one-half of the entire city’s electricity from renewable resources by 2032.





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