The new Marlins stadium planned for the Orange Bowl site in Little Havana has been approved by the Miami City Commission. County Commissioners will cast their votes early next week. While we have been quite vocal about the stadium’s design and its lack of transit service, I have been told that it is planned to be the country’s first LEED certified stadium, replete with both outdoor and indoor valet bicycle parking.

(CORRECTION: The planned Marlin’s stadium will actually be the 2nd LEED certified stadium, but is the first time Major League Baseball has pledged its own money ($1 million) towards certifying a stadium as LEED.)

However, the  needed greenwash certainly does not assuage the  issues of siting, overall poor design, and the lack of mass transit service. LEED certification does little to squelch auto-dependency (there are LEED certified Wal-Marts ), but it at least raises the bar so that citizens of other cities should expect, if not demand, that their next stadiums  meet or surpass LEED building standards.

Stay tuned as this development meets its real test next week.

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2 Responses to Stadium Passes City Commission, Marlins Commit To LEED Certification

  1. Felipe A says:

    How can LEED certification not consider transit and address the issue of auto dependency? A more holistic approach should be required in order to earn this type of certification.

    I will most likely never go to a Marlins game, mostly because I don’t like baseball. However, I don’t oppose a stadium being built with tax payer money. But I am completely opposed to this stadium being built in Little Havanna. If the city is going to spend my tax money, at the very least bring the stadium downtown where it will serve as a catalyst for revitalization. We only have to look as far as Denver to see what the Rockies stadium has done to revitalize the city.

    I think it is great that there will be indoor and outdoor bike valet parking. However, I would like to know if the city actually plans to place miles of protect/separated bicycle paths (not bicycle lanes) which directly connect the stadium to Brickell, Miami Beach, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Little Haiti, Sunset, Hialeah, Downtown and Metrorail stops? If not, the bike valet will quickly fail. As things stand right now, if the Marlins truly want families with kids to come to the games on their bicycles, the design must include safe routes to encourage commuting by bicycle. Leed certification should not be rewarded if this type of infrastructure for cyclists is not provided.

    This project just got approved because it was “green-washed”. What a joke. Whoever runs LEED certification should be embarrassed to have their name associated with this stadium.

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  2. Mike Lydon says:

    The problem with most LEED programs is that amazingly, they never took siting into effect. Thus, as long as their are waterless urinals, recycled materials, and LED lights, a Wal-Mart surrounded by parking lots in the suburbs — one that requires driving — can be LEED certified.

    Fortunately, many of the new urbanists, the firm that I work for included, have worked with the USGBC and the NRDC to create a new LEED program called LEED-ND. “ND” stands for Neighborhood Development. This way, the idea of “GREEN” looks at a total environment in which individual buildings sit. It includes points for things like transit access within certain distances, wetland preservation, bicycle networks, housing density, and providing a mixture of uses.

    Over 200 developments applied for the pilot testing stage for LEED-ND and are being evaluated for the final version. It’s not perfect, but it at least gets the that to be truly green one has to look, yes, at the lightbulbs, but mostly at the greater built and natural environment and how it performs in the reduction of CO2 emissions, pollution, and preservation of wetlands and buildings.

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