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Articles by Kaid Benfield

Kaid Benfield is the Director of Sustainable Communities and Smart Growth, at the Natural Resources Defense Council. He is the co-founder of the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, and the Smart Growth America coalition; and author of Once There Were Greenfields (NRDC 1999), Solving Sprawl (Island Press 2001), Smart Growth In a Changing World (APA Planners Press 2007), Green Community (APA Planners Press 2009). He was voted one of the "top urban thinkers" in 2009 poll on Planetizen.com and named one of "the most influential people in sustainable planning and development" in 2010 by the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

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Dockside Green.Photo: jayscratchCross-posted from Natural Resources Defense Council/The Atlantic.

I recently took a vacation to Victoria, B.C., a wonderful city that — among other good things — is home to Dockside Green, which some people are calling the greenest development in the world.

At least with respect to new, highly urban developments-in-progress, they may have a case to make: For starters, when NRDC, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Congress for the New Urbanism first announced the LEED for Neighborhood Development pilot program to honor smart growth, the developers of Dockside Green made a point of the neighborhood being the program’s very first applicant. It has since earned a platinum rating under LEED-ND.

Moreover, its two completed residential phases have also earned platinum ratings under the LEED green building programs, in one case setting a new world record for the highest LEED building score ever achieved, and in the second case tying their own record. Its completed commercial phase has also earned — you guessed it — a platinum rating.

For the most part, I am going to let the photos and videos... Read more

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