–Agenda 2030–This is the second installment of a monthly blog series connecting the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the mission of GBES–To advance the green building movement through best-in-class education and encouragement–


Green Buildings Matter for Global Goals

Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 11, are why Green Buildings Matter. Green, healthy buildings plug into sustainable cities and communities. Green buildings are unified in their pursuit of the triple bottom line. And the stakeholder list keeps growing.


Measure Green for Global Goals

One user friendly tool to measure a sustainable city is to total the sum of its parts.

LEED for Cities uses the Arc platform to aggregate performance metrics.

Arc has a  user friendly dashboard for elected city leaders or even private development portfolios to organize water, energy, trash, and user satisfaction into one overall numerical rating. One of the stated objectives is to advance engagement in existing frameworks including 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

To meet SDG 11, citizens and designers alike are looking beyond the performance of the built environment. Quality of life of daily routines for the home users can and must be design into sustainable cities.


Current Sustainability Indicators of SDG 11

  • PM2.5 in urban areas (?g/m3) 8.4     
  • Improved water source, piped (%) 99.6     
  • Satisfaction with public transport (%) 60     
  • Rent overburden rate (%) 15.8
  • Note: Data shown is for USA

Let’s unpack each metric, identifying how LEED APs and WELL APs can influence positive growth.


Sustainable Cities Mandate Clean Energy

Did you know clean energy means cleaner air? The average consumer may not understand how building electricity use creates particulate matter in the atmosphere. However, the best green building professionals teach us that mandating clean energy reduces particulate matter by eliminating combustion emissions and other negative environmental externalities.  

In addition to building related emissions, green building professionals can support Parksmart; which reduces idling to improve ambient air quality.

Green buildings mandates improve air quality by reducing demand and consumption of fossil fuel generated electricity. That is tone of the most positive health achievements for why green buildings matter for sustainable cities and communities.


Utility and Transportation equity will define the future of Sustainable Cities

Green Infrastructure professionals are an important part of the sustainable development of cities and communities. They mange civilization essentials like water, trash, and transportation-without which, no development can occur. Moreover, these basic infrastructures affect everyone, not just property owners.

So if you want to contribute sustainable development for the greater good, look for equitable access to city services. Park space, transportation access, and clean water are the green infrastructure that we professionals are leading in sustainable cities and communities


We need LEED APs and WELL APs to drive sustainable communities

SDG 11 Indicators supported by Fitwel

Ensure equitable access to vibrant public and private spaces that support optimal quality of life.

  • Provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces
  • Proportion of population that has convenient access to public transport, by sex, age and persons with disabilities.


SDG 11 Indicatorssupported by GBCI

  • Direct economic loss in relation to global GDP, damage to critical infrastructure and number of disruptions to basic services, attributed to disasters.
    • PEER – http://peer.gbci.org/ – measure and improve power system reliability and resiliency
    • SITES – http://www.gbci.org/press-kit-sites – certified landscapes create ecologically resilient communities that are better able to withstand and recover from floods, droughts, wildfires and other catastrophic events
  • Proportion of urban solid waste regularly collected and with adequate final discharge out of total urban solid waste generated, by cities.


2030 Action Checklist

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