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Title:A political ecology of the built environment: LEED certification for green buildings
Author(s):Cidell, Julie L.
Subject(s):green buildings
political ecology
built environment
Geographic Coverage:North America
Abstract:The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards of the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council have become the accepted benchmark for designating “green buildings” in the U.S. and many other countries. Throughout their ten-year history, the standards have remained flexible, changing with input from designers, builders, environmentalists, and others to incorporate new types of buildings and modify the existing standards to make them more geographically, economically, and functionally sensitive. In this paper, I examine through an urban political ecology lens how the LEED standards help to produce a particular kind of built environment. Political ecology has broadened from its origins in the cultural ecology of the developing world to include urban and industrialized environments. In recent years, work in this area has focused on hybridity and socio-nature to explore the ways that urban environments are constructed and maintained through biological, political, and economic processes. Political ecologists have also shown sensitivity to the importance of scale in both the ecological and social constructionist senses. In this paper, I show how the LEED standards and the green buildings and built environments they help to produce are hybrids of material objects and human practices.
Issue Date:2009
Citation Info:Cidell, J. (2009). A political ecology of the built environment: LEED certification for green buildings. Local Environment 14:7, 621-633.
Sponsor:Campus Research Board
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-17

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