The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has recognized Washington, D.C.‘s consistent sustainability efforts, by awarding it the title of the first LEED for Cities Platinum city in the world. USGBC President & CEO Mahesh Ramanujam presented the honor to Mayor Bowser on August 31st, on the steps of Dunbar High School. Founded back in 1870, the school also received LEED Platinum certification in 2015, thus becoming the greenest school in the world, as reported by Commercial Property Executive.
The LEED for Cities program was launched in 2016, enabling cities to measure and communicate sustainability performance in an effective way. The program uses Arc, a state-of-the-art digital data platform, to benchmark and track performance and provide transparency regarding sustainability efforts.
“Washington, D.C., is setting the bar for smart cities all around the world by leveraging technology and data to achieve sustainability and resiliency goals, creating healthy and safe communities where citizens can thrive,” said Ramanujam in a statement.
Over the past years, the Bowser Administration has been making solid efforts to turn Washington, D.C., into a smart and green city. The Administration released the Climate Ready DC program, completed the largest wind power purchase agreement deal ever entered into by a U.S. city, launched Sustainable DC 2.0, and signed on to uphold the commitments established in the Paris Climate Accord. Consequently, 65% of the city’s neighborhoods are walkable, 58% of commuter trips are by foot, bike or public transportation, and the D.C. Government is 100% powered by renewable energy. The city also plans to derive at least one-half of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2032.
The Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) is also leading interagency efforts through Smarter DC, a program that aims to develop a complete network of smart city projects and organizations. “Smarter DC is fundamentally about leveraging technology strategically to deliver a more sustainable, resilient, equitable, and healthy city transparency,” said Chief Technology Officer Archana Vemulapalli. “This recognition was only attainable by working together to deliver real outcomes for the District.”
Per Mayor Bowser’s announcement, Brookland Middle School has also earned LEED Platinum certification, being awarded 85 out of a possible 109 points. This achievement marks the third DC Public Schools project to earn Platinum certification.