Are LEED-ND developments catalysts of neighborhood gentrification?

Eric M. Benson, Bradley Bereitschaft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


LEED v4 for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) is a neighborhood sustainability assessment tool developed through a collaborative effort between the United States Green Building Council, the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. LEED-ND utilizes a credit-based ratings system that serves as a template for the development of green, sustainable neighborhoods. This research study analyzes the locational and demographic attributes of 246 proposed, completed, and/or in progress LEED-ND sites to better understand whether LEED-ND and its ratings system are achieving its goal of promoting greater social equity. This study analyzes the temporal changes of eight demographic variables that are indicative of neighborhood gentrification. These variables include educational attainment, median income, median rent, median land values, household size, median age, percent non-white, and racial diversity. Statistically significant changes to educational attainment, median rent, and diversity were observed at various geographic levels. It was also determined that the effects of LEED-ND developments are likely felt beyond the physical boundaries of the sites. The findings suggest that LEED-ND developments may function as catalysts of neighborhood gentrification rather than promoting greater social equity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-88
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Urban Sustainable Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


  • Gentrification
  • LEED
  • neighborhood demographics
  • social equity
  • sustainability
  • urban planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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