Professional Practice

Environmental Models: Sustainable Neighborhood Planning

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Best Practices for Complete Streets (Sacramento Transportation and Air Quality Collaborative)
Suggested street standards for designing new streets. The guide also illustrates local examples of streets that work and don't.

Urban Street Design Guidelines (Goverment of Charlotte, North Carolina)
These guidelines won an E.P.A. Smart Growth award for 2009.

Rating Systems

LEED for Neighborhood Development (U.S. Green Building Council)
The LEED-ND Rating System integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building into the first national system for neighborhood design.

One Planet Communities (BioRegional Development Group)
A set of sustainable communities worldwide. The rating system was designed based on elements first tested in the BedZED project in the UK.

TND Design Rating Standards v2.2
This traditional neighborhood development (TND) rating system was designed to be a comprehensive, project level assessment tool.  A five-star rating system is used to evaluate neighborhood development on ten categories including such factors as housing choice, housing unit proximits, mixed-use, connectivity, streetscaping, etc.  

Assessment Tools

Walk Score
This tool calculates the walkability of an address based on the distance from your house to nearby amenities. Walk Score measures how easy it is to live a “car-lite” lifestyle based on the layout of your neighborhood or community.


Green Communities Self-Certification Checklist (Built Green)
A self-certification checklist can help community developers rate the environmental sustainability of their project.

New Urbanism Checklist (Sustainable Cities Institute)
New Urbanism offers a comprehensive and thorough approach to addressing all of the elements that promote the environmental sustainability and welfare of communities. This checklist outlines the major elements of New Urbanism design.

Smart Scorecard for Development Projects (Congress for New Urbanism and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
A scorecard developed “to assist elected local officials, developers, investors, neighborhood groups and designers make better project-level decisions that achieve the Smart Growth objectives."

Smart Growth Development Checklist (City of New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada)
A checklist to aid in sustainable community development.

Smart Growth Scorecard (New Jersey Future) 
This scorecard was produced to identify the strengths and weaknesses in proposed smart growth development.

Case Studies

The Eco-Districts Initiative (Portland Sustainability (Institute)
The Portland Sustainability Institute, in partnership with the City of Portland, launched the EcoDistricts Initiative as part of the Portland region's broadening commitment to sustainability.

Eco-Density Initiative (City of Vancouver)
Vancouver's EcoDensity Initiative is the result of two years of planning and public debate on how density, design, and land use can contribute to environmental sustainability, affordability, and livability.

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