Barriers and incentives for sustainable urban development: An analysis of the adoption of LEED-ND projects

J Environ Manage. 2019 Aug 15;244:304-312. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.04.020. Epub 2019 May 22.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Leadership*
  • Motivation*
  • Public-Private Sector Partnerships
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Texas