Performing leadership: municipal green building policies and the city as role model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recent rise in the use of third-party standards and rating systems to evaluate the sustainability or greenness of urban programs and policies includes their explicit incorporation into municipal policy in the case of certified green buildings. In this paper the theoretical framework of performativity is used to explain how multiple forms of city activity interlock through policy to name, repeat, and recount the city as a leader—which, in this particular discursive formation, means being green. By performing greenness to their peers, city staff and elected officials work on the city's identity as an innovator and leader. Furthermore, the internal performance of greenness to residents and businesspeople indicates the appropriate role of local government in relation to private sector activity and protecting citizens, including taking on the risks of new technologies and practices to ease the way for private capital.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-579
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 26 2015


  • climate change
  • green buildings
  • local government
  • municipalities
  • performativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Performing leadership: municipal green building policies and the city as role model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this