In this four part series, I explore how we might plan for a more sustainable development pattern in the 7-county Twin Cities metropolitan region using the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system as a guide. By applying the location criteria of the rating system, I identify what locations would be appropriate for future growth, what locations need regulatory updates to be eligible for LEED ND, and what areas should be considered off-limits for new development. The resulting maps and suggested policy changes are intended to guide the region to a more sustainable future as we add 1 million people by 2030.

Click here to explore the final eligibility map.

  • What locations in the Twin Cities are eligible for LEED ND: Part 1 This post includes some background on LEED ND and the specific location criteria contained in the rating system. Locations are identified which meet four location prerequisites, which deal with sensitive ecological or cultural resources. Combined, these prerequisites identify what is “off-limits” for future development.
  • What locations in the Twin Cities are eligible for LEED ND: Part 2 Smart Location is a prerequisite of LEED ND that is about identifying locations best suited for development. This post identifies areas in the Twin Cities that meet all the requirements of Smart Location, and are not off-limits based on the analysis from Part 1, resulting in a map of “Location Efficient” sites in the ...
  • What locations in the Twin Cities are eligible for LEED ND: Part 3 There are a few requirements of LEED ND that can technically be met through the project design, but may not be able to be met in reality based on the existing built environment, or the current planning or zoning rules in a particular location. This post explores where land use regulations restrict development from ...
  • What locations in the Twin Cities are eligible for LEED ND: Part 4 The final post in the series. Regional and local policy changes are needed to guide development into more sustainable patterns. This post recommends policy changes and includes final maps.
  • Explore The Twin Cities LEED ND Maps A Google Maps mashup of the final LEED ND eligibility areas map for the entire seven-county metro.