A new USGBC brief, “Greenspace for Good: Using the SITES System to Advance Resilience," highlights specific performance-based strategies within the SITES rating system that address resilience.
From a landscape perspective, resilience starts with an up-front focus on the protection and restoration of landscape function, instead of placing it at the end of the development process. All across the U.S., but especially in dense urban areas with large amounts of grey infrastructure and paved surfaces, landscapes play a critical role in helping each site. They also help the entire community adapt to, and mitigate the effects of, climate change and weather disasters.
The brief details how SITES, using an integrated design process, rewards projects for strategies that enhance resilience to floods, fires, landslides, drought and extreme heat. Examples are provided for how individual SITES credits have symbiotic effects and work together to address multiple challenges.
In addition, the brief showcases how two different levels of government are leveraging the SITES rating system to help ensure public landscapes, such as those at courthouses, land port of entries and other outdoor spaces, are resilient and can protect and enhance their cities and communities. Both the U.S. General Services Administration and the state of Rhode Island have adopted SITES as a requirement for new public projects.