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Posted on: April 7, 2022

Amesbury Accepted into LEED for Cities Local Government Leadership Program

News Flash - LEED for Cities

Mayor Kassandra Gove is proud to announce that the City of Amesbury has been accepted into the 2022 Sustainability & Equity Accelerator through the LEED for Cities Local Government Leadership Program. Amesbury, the only participating community located in New England, will join 14 other communities from around the country for the program.

The LEED for Cities Local Government Leadership Program is a program of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), creators of the LEED green building rating system. Bank of America partnered with USGBC to launch the Local Government Leadership Program in 2017 and has contributed more than $2 million to support dozens of cities and counties in their pursuit of LEED certification.

LEED for Cities, which is different than the LEED certification for buildings that many are familiar with, provides a framework to address energy, water, waste, pollution, and carbon. The program helps local governments committed to reducing climate change and advancing resilience and social equity by measuring and tracking performance using the LEED for Cities rating system. In addition to environmental factors, the rating system considers social and economic indicators, such as health, equity, education, and prosperity. LEED helps local leaders hone metrics around initiatives; benchmark performance relative to peers; and communicate to and educate stakeholders on progress.

“The City of Amesbury is committed to planning for equity and sustainability long-term in our community, as demonstrated by the creation of the Equity & Inclusion Design Team and our I AMesbury 2030 master planning process," said Mayor Gove. "I’m thrilled that Amesbury will be able to learn from communities across the country in this cohort, and share our own success stories as well. I’m proud of the work our team does every day, and I know that this program will help us learn and grow for the betterment of our entire community.”

As a national cohort, the program provides peer-to-peer networking opportunities, technical assistance, access to educational resources, and waived membership, registration and certification fees to support the participants working toward LEED certification. The national cohort will meet regularly throughout the year via phone calls and web conferencing to share progress and best practices. Each local government will receive a dedicated USGBC liaison who will check-in regularly, help to resolve issues, and provide feedback and support. 

The 15 cities in this year’s cohort are:

  • Amesbury, Mass.
  • Cape Canaveral, Fla.
  • Columbia, S.C.
  • Cutler Bay, Fla.
  • Davidson, N.C.
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Henderson, Nev.
  • Issaquah, Wash.
  • Ithaca, N.Y.
  • La Crescent, Minn.
  • Oakland County, Mich.
  • Reno, Nev.
  • State College, Penn.
  • Tucson, Ariz.  

“Local governments have the ability to make a big impact and serve as an example of sustainability achievement," says Peter Templeton, president and CEO at the USGBC. "This year’s cohort of cities and counties are looking to create responsible, sustainable plans for natural systems, energy, water, waste, transportation and many other factors. Along with Bank of America, we are looking forward to these 15 localities’ pursuit of LEED for Cities certification.” 

Each local government selected to participate in the 2022 Program will receive (pending Amesbury City Council acceptance):

  • One-year USGBC Silver level membership valued at $1,500;
  • LEED for Cities program registration and certification review valued at $2,500 and $8,000 respectively;
  • A dedicated USGBC staff liaison providing project management and coaching support, technical assistance, and QA/QC on certification materials;
  • Access to a multi-day virtual orientation program for staff, elected/appointed officials and partners;
  • Monthly networking and convening opportunities with the national cohort;
  • Quarterly forums digging deeper into sustainability and social equity issues;
  • Access to a LEED for Cities Equity Fellow for guidance and advice;
  • The ability to participate in our inaugural Equity Scan, demonstrating the evolution of the work on social equity at the local level;
  • Public relations and marketing assistance and a case study on your USGBC Project Directory page tied to certification announcement; 
  • How to guides, education resources, and other project management tools; 
  • Access to green building policy and advocacy support, connection to local chapters and our network of thought leaders and practitioners!   

The City of Amesbury is interested in achieving LEED v4.1 for Cities because the I AMesbury 2030 Initiative (Master Plan) feedback has shown time and again that creating a more equitable, sustainable community is of utmost importance to our residents and community stakeholders. Equity, sustainability and health are the overarching lenses for the entire Master Plan. All of the actions that come out of the Master Plan process will be run through these three lenses.

Angela Cleveland, Director of Community & Economic Development will play a key role in this initiative. She says, “I have committed my planning career to working with local governments on adopting and implementing sustainable policies, programs and practices. Having the assistance of the LEED for Cities Local Government Leadership Program is a great opportunity to build local capacity and connect us to our peers as we work to achieve our sustainability commitment.” 

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