Recognizing Community Sustainability

February 28, 2017

Attendees learned about USGBC's LEED for Cities Certification Program and APA's Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places Program. LEED for Cities supports continuous progress toward a better city and quality of life by asking cities to set goals and implement strategies and plans to maintain and support these goals. LEED for Cities not only demonstrates a city's commitment to education, human health, safety, economic prosperity, and equitability, but also helps to educate residents and visitors on the importance of sustainability measures and identify policies that will help to reduce a city's impact and improve its performance over time.

Recognizing the role of the comprehensive plan in addressing sustainability challenges, APA's Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places is designed to build the capacity of local jurisdictions to integrate sustainability into their comprehensive plans. The standards define principles, processes, and attributes, as well as supporting best practices to serve as a resource for the preparation of local comprehensive plans. In 2016, APA launched a pilot recognition program to recognize leading comprehensive plans.

The panel looked at how these programs can help communities set and achieve sustainability goals, and gain recognition for those achievements.

CM | 1.0

PDF of PowerPoint presentation (pdf)


Vatsal Bhatt, PhD

Vatsal Bhatt works with the U.S. Green Building Council as the director of cities and neighborhood developments, where he helped conceptualize and make operational the LEED for Cities program. As a senior energy policy analyst at the Brookhaven National Laboratory he has worked on various national and international assignments on energy systems analysis and low-carbon development for USDOE, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, universities, foundations, and international governments. Bhatt has led the USDOE's U.S.-India-China Cities Partnership for 2007-2014 and provided technical assistance to the governments of India and China and state and local governments on low-carbon urban growth strategies and EcoCity planning and implementation.

David Rouse, FAICP

David Rouse is a certified planner and registered landscape architect with over 30 years of private, public, and nonprofit sector experience in community planning, design, and implementation. As APA's research director, he oversees the Planning Advisory Service and the three National Centers for Planning (Green Communities, Hazards Planning, and Planning and Community Health). Prior to joining APA Rouse was a principal of WRT, a nationally recognized planning, urban design, landscape architecture, and architecture consulting firm based in Philadelphia.