EDGE and LEED Synergy #3: Green building policies and incentives for EDGE certification qualify for LEED for Cities and Communities v4.1 points

Dror Karni

This article is part of series that highlights synergies between EDGE and LEED.

Today, our cities are at a crossroads. While the challenges our global cities face have never been more serious, the performance improvement opportunities available to those who invest in the right technologies have never been more promising. All over the world, city leaders are realizing the incredible opportunities that green buildings and green infrastructure present— and consequently, a new generation of high-performance cities is emerging.

Recognizing that cities need a globally consistent way to measure their performance, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) introduced the LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities programs in 2016 to help city leaders communicate performance across an array of objectives and to different types of stakeholders.

LEED v4.1 for Cities and Communities help locations develop specific, responsible plans for natural systems, water, waste, transportation and many other factors that contribute to sustainability. They also go further and address quality of life, health, prosperity, equity, access, empowerment, safety and education. The rating systems support continuous progress on all these fronts in our communities and cities.

The Green Building Policy and Incentives credit rewards cities and communities that encourage the design, construction, and retrofit of buildings using green building practices.

Option 1. Buildings owned and/or operated by the local government or development authority (1-2 points)

Register and certify buildings, above 5000 square feet (465 square meter), owned by the local government or development authority to LEED, EDGE or an equivalent green building rating system. Points are awarded as per the table given below.

Percentage of buildings registered to certify to LEED or equivalent green building rating system


51% to 75 %


Greater than 75%



Option 2. Green Building Policy and Incentives (1-4 points)

Provide incentives for LEED, EDGE or an equivalent green building rating system in the city. (1 point per incentive provided; up to 4 points can be achieved through this option.)

  • Structural Incentives: Provide expedited review or permitting processes to buildings achieving certification.
  • Structural Incentives: Provide density or height bonus allowing for percentage increases in Floor Area Ratio or other measures of density contingent upon certification.
  • Financial Incentives: Provide tax credits for buildings achieving certification.
  • Financial Incentives: Provide permitting fee reduction or waivers for buildings achieving certification.


Learn more about LEED v4.1 Cities and Communities