ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – (April 30, 2021) -- The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), creators of the LEED green building rating system, announced the City of Atlantic Beach is among 15 new cities and counties selected to participate in the 2021 LEED for Cities Local Government Leadership and Grant Program. The program helps local governments committed to accelerating progress on climate change, resilience and social equity planning, measure and track performance.
As a national cohort member, the City of Atlantic Beach will receive 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.
"With our commitment to the LEED for Cities program in Atlantic Beach, we desire to lead and transform the future of our community by creating a roadmap for success that includes resiliency, equity, and sustainability,” said Atlantic Beach Mayor Ellen Glasser.
Atlantic Beach was Florida’s first LEED silver-certified community.
“I am exceedingly grateful to our citizens, staff, and public officials who have been -- and are -- united in our efforts to preserve and sustain our many parks and green spaces, our public beaches, our maritime forest, and our quality of life for the next generation,” Glasser said.
Bank of America partnered with USGBC to launch the Local Government Leadership Program in 2017 and has contributed more than $1.75 million to support 56 cities and counties in their pursuit of LEED certification. 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.
“USGBC’s work and its LEED for Cities program are helping to catalyze the critical change needed to ensure every city has a sustainable foundation and is part of the solution to reach the aims of the Paris Climate Accord,” said Alex Liftman, Global Environmental executive at Bank of America. “Cities are at the forefront of climate change, so building LEED-certified cities can accelerate the transition to more low-carbon communities and helps to ensure the wellbeing of the citizens that live and work there.”
More than 120 cities and communities have achieved LEED certification. LEED provides a framework for local governments looking to implement strategies to address energy, water, waste, pollution and carbon. In addition to environmental factors, the rating system takes into account 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.
“It helps keep the city on track for our sustainability and resiliency plans,” said Amanda Askew, the City of Atlantic Beach’s planning and community development director. “One of the main benefits includes being better positioned to make data-driven decisions.”
The rating system is flexible and can be applied to small and large cities, counties and other local governments, as well as economic areas, such as business improvement districts and neighborhoods.
“LEED for Cities helps local leaders create responsible, sustainable and specific plans for natural systems, energy, water, waste, transportation and many other factors that contribute to quality of life,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council. “These 15 local governments are committed to finding solutions for health, sustainable and high performing, and using LEED as a tool to ensure they are on a path of continuous improvement. Along with our partners at Bank of America, USGBC looks forward to seeing what’s to come as we work to create a better world for everyone.”
The 15 local governments selected for the 2021 program represent more than five million Americans in diverse places throughout the country:
Complimentary and interconnected to the city’s LEED for Cities recertification, the City of Atlantic Beach Environmental Stewardship Committee’s (ESC) Green Works Task Force is working on a draft integrated sustainability resiliency community action plan to take first to the City Commission and community to obtain input on priorities and needs. If you are interested in staying abreast of this effort and the ESC’s happenings, please join the ESC’s Friends List.
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About City of Atlantic Beach’s Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC) – The ESC is a publicly appointed citizen committee that was established by ordinance to study, provide guidance and support, and make recommendations to City Commission and City staff with respect to the City’s maritime forest, parks and open spaces, beautification of public and private spaces, and environmental stewardship. Its role is to also act as a motivating and coordinating body to encourage joint public and private participation in promoting these purposes. Contact Amanda Askew (firstname.lastname@example.org) for additional information.