Kaid Benfield

Professorial Lecturer in Law
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

Kaid Benfield is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on how to make cities, towns, and neighborhoods work better for both people and the environment.  Kaid serves as senior counsel for environmental strategies at PlaceMakers LLC, a city and town planning consultancy working across the United States and Canada. He is based in Washington, DC. 

Before joining PlaceMakers, Kaid served as a senior attorney and program director at the Natural Resources Defense Council for over 30 years, founding the organization’s sustainable communities program.  And he teaches law, policy, and best practices for sustainable communities at the The George Washington University School of Law. Kaid’s latest book is People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities, distributed by Island Press.

A longtime leader of the smart growth movement, Kaid co-founded LEED for Neighborhood Development, a national process for defining and certifying smart, green land development under the auspices of the US Green Building Council.  Kaid is also a founder and board member of Smart Growth America, a nationwide coalition working on revitalizing cities, building better neighborhoods, and stopping the spread of suburban sprawl. 

Kaid was named one of "the most influential people in sustainable planning and development" by the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, voted one of the "top urban thinkers" on the leading city planning website, Planetizen.com, and named "one of the top 100 city innovators worldwide" by the website Future Cities.

Kaid is a prolific writer whose portfolio spans several books and frequent articles for The Huffington Post, Sustainable Cities, Better Cities & Towns, CityLab, and NRDC websites.  


BA, Emory University; JD, Georgetown University

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