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Day helps develop sustainable sites initiative


A woman inspecting a tree in a parking lot. Susan Day played a pivotal role in the development of national guidelines for sustainable urban landscapes.

Feb. 15, 2016 – Associate Professor Susan Day initiated national discussions in 2007 that culminated with the recent rollout by Green Business Certification Inc. of its new Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) rating system, the most comprehensive program and toolkit for developing sustainable landscapes. Day not only helped create SITES but also served on the Soils Technical Committee that provided the standards for urban soil management. “Soil standards are a critical component of the rating system,” Day explained. “We carefully deliberated what constitutes sustainable management and design. After working on this project for nearly 10 years, it is rewarding to see it all come together. Our nation’s urban landscapes can only benefit as these guidelines are adopted.”

The SITES rating system can be applied to development projects located on sites with or without buildings — ranging from national parks to corporate campuses, streetscapes, homes, and more. Modeled after the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, SITES includes best practices in landscape architecture, ecological restoration, and related fields as well as knowledge gained through peer-reviewed literature, case-study precedents, and more than 100 projects registered in the SITES pilot program. Visit

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