Join USGBC at this event embracing smart infrastructure and equitable communities.
The urban environment is a space of experimentation with new approaches and technologies. As centers of activity and innovation, cities provide lessons that shape how programs, policies and investments are made across the United States and the world.
Smart Cities Week, taking place in Washington, D.C. from Sept. 30–Oct. 2, offers a place to connect with city leaders who want to create more sustainable, equitable and resilient communities.
We’re excited to explore the theme of this year’s conference, “Smart Infrastructure: Equitable Communities,” because it ties in so closely with what USGBC does with our LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities certification program. Smart infrastructure goes beyond technological advances in the grid and networks to include approaches to stormwater management, transit-oriented communities, availability of affordable housing and access to quality jobs—all elements of urban sustainability that relate directly to social equity. Green buildings, neighborhoods and cities contribute to social infrastructure as well, building community cohesion and a strong sense of place, increasing access to neighborhood resources like green spaces and cultural centers, and promoting civil and human rights.
Smart technologies and new innovations are often a catalyst and management tool for the planning, development and operation of LEED cities. The LEED v4.1 for Cities and LEED v4.1 for Communities certifications validate the work cities are doing to develop responsible, sustainable and specific plans for natural systems, energy, water, waste, transportation and many other factors that contribute to quality of life.
Throughout 2019, USGBC has been working with 15 U.S. cities and counties that have received grant support from Bank of America Charitable Foundation to go through the LEED for Cities and Communities program. The cities of Orlando, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Baltimore, Maryland, all recipients of the grant, have incorporated smart cities initiatives, and we’re working with others to incorporate smart technologies and innovations into their operations and plans to advance safe, healthy, sustainable communities around the world.
On Wednesday, Oct 2., I’ll be part of a classroom-style session at Smart Cities Week called “The Smart and Connected Built Environment (and How to Make it a Reality),” which will explore the ways in which smart city principles, policies and infrastructure investments are transforming existing developments and suburbs to become communities of tomorrow. USGBC’s work with cities and communities across the country and the world has energized and inspired us, and we’re happy to have the opportunity to once again take part in Smart Cities Week. The conference will give us the opportunity to connect and network with leaders of cities large and small, to enhance their sustainability and to move toward a smarter, more connected world.