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Sustainable SITES Initiative (USA)

The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™) is a program based on the understanding that land is a crucial component of the built environment and can be planned, designed, developed, and maintained to protect and enhance the benefits we derive from healthy functioning landscapes. Sustainable landscapes create ecologically resilient communities better able to withstand and recover from episodic floods, droughts, wildfires, and other catastrophic events. They benefit the environment, property owners, and local and regional communities and economies.

The SITES program provides tools for those who influence land development and management practices and can address increasingly urgent global concerns such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, and resource depletion. They can be used by those who design, construct, operate, and maintain landscapes, including but not limited to planners, landscape architects, engineers, developers, builders, maintenance crews, horticulturists, governments, land stewards, and organizations offering building standards.

The SITES program offers a systematic, comprehensive rating system designed to define sustainable sites, measure their performance, and ultimately elevate the value of landscapes. The SITES Rating System can apply to development projects located on sites with or without buildings, including: Open Spaces - local, state, and national parks; botanic gardens; arboretums Streetscapes and plazas Commercial - retail and office areas; corporate campuses Residential - neighborhoods or individual yards Educational/Institutional - public and private campuses; museums; hospitals Infrastructure Government Military Industrial