In an exclusive survey, the Partnership for Sustainable Communities has taken the national political temperature of efforts to mitigate greenhouse gases (GHG) from the built environment through land use regulation and green building requirements.
Legislative success in this regard requires substantial political will and ingenuity because it involves the unprecedented integration of diverse public policy disciplines: land use, real estate regulation, transportation, and environmental protection.
The PSC survey set out to answer the following questions:
- Whether states legislated or created policy that coupled land use planning with transit-oriented development as a means of mitigating GHG emissions
- Whether the state has "green building" requirements for new construction and retrofit of existing buildings
- Whether vehicle trip mitigation measures are addressed
- If projects requiring a state environmental impact statement must consider direct/indirect greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the project
Thus far, California, Oregon, and Washington have taken specific legislative action to control GHG emissions from the way land use is planned and buildings are constructed.
Six states (Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, and North Carolina) have articulated actionable policies, reflecting a demonstrated political will and the potential for legislation in the near term.
Twenty-seven states have produced general policy statements acknowledging the need to address the contribution of land use and buildings to GHG emissions.
It appears that only fifteen states have taken no action whatsoever in regard to this issue.
PSC's survey showed that California is in the forefront of state policy development for land use and GHG reduction, making it a potential model for other states.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
Help Us Update and Expand This Information
The material listed above is a work in progress. We are continuing to review state legislative and policy directives that consider the environmental aspects of land use and buildings. We invite visitors to update us on legislation and policy initiatives in your state in an effort to provide the most comprehensive information possible.