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Sustainable Development Policy

The Chicago Sustainable Development Policy (SDP) helps the City of Chicago to achieve its climate goals by requiring City-assisted development projects to include sustainable design elements that help improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and attain other building performance metrics.  

The policy was implemented in 2004, initially as a green roof requirement and later modified to require Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or related third-party certifications. By 2013, Chicago emerged as a world leader for sustainable development with more than 500 green roofs and more than 500 LEED-certified structures.   

The policy was most recently updated in 2017 with a point-based menu that offers flexibility in achieving compliance. Created with the assistance of an advisory committee of sustainable development experts and the public, the policy includes an expanded scope of what’s considered sustainable, including features that address public health, stormwater management, transportation, waste diversion, bird and bat protections, and workforce development. New construction projects are required to select menu items that achieve 100 points. Rehabilitation projects are required to achieve 50 or 25 points, depending on scope.

Pending additional engagement and input, a draft update to the SDP is expected to be presented for public review and comment in 2024.  

Explore the Sustainable Development Policy

Current Policy

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Read the current Sustainable Development Policy.

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Handbook

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View strategies for meeting the Sustainable Development Policy requirements.

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Incentives

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Explore incentives available for sustainable development.

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2024 Update

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Learn about DPD's process for the 2024 Sustainable Development Policy update.

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Take the Survey

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Share your feedback on how to improve the current Sustainable Development Policy.

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