The adoption rate for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) projects has varied considerably across the United States. Local governments and developers face variation in the incentives and barriers while implementing LEED-ND projects across four key dimensions - economic, policy, public awareness, and organizational. This paper investigated the drivers of variation using a mixed-methods approach including a two-stage Heckman model, a survey of Texas subdivision developers and interviews with local planning officials. Results indicate that initial public funding may lead to more LEED-ND projects being completed, but with a diminishing return as these projects become established within the region. Support for local programs including tax abatement, public-private partnerships, and other incentives were also demonstrated to help facilitate LEED-ND project adoption. Overall this paper underscored the important role, especially early on, the public sector and local governments play in initiating local LEED-ND projects to inform and motivate the land development industry.
Keywords: LEED-ND; Local government; Sustainable development.
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