Cities Sign On for Green Building

The number of cities with green building programs has increased 418 percent since 2003. In just four years–wow. Think about it: 418 percent.

That’s an increase from 22 to 92, according to the American Institute of Architects, who recently paid for a study of areas with more than 50,000 residents to find out how effective green building policies are.

The report, Local Leaders in Sustainability, analyzed 661 communities, according to the online Dexigner publication.

We knew cities were signing on to green building — not only have numerous cities tried to establish green building codes, the summer U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting led to a resolution urging Congress to offer funding of K-12 green school demonstration projects and to support new funding to research the 
economic and health benefits of green schools.

But still … a more than 400 percent increase? Why–is green just getting popular? Or, as some are suggesting, is green building just getting easier and less expensive?

"Technological advances now allow for the design of buildings that are
efficient, modern, possess great aesthetics and are financially viable," says Paul Mendelsohn, AIA vice president, Government and Community Relations. "High premiums for green buildings are no longer the case as costs are coming more in line with traditional building practices."

What are your thoughts on cities adopting green building policies? Does it help to have green building standards at the local level, or should the industry instead rely on national codes such as LEED’s system? Post your thoughts below.