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[en] Certification systems for sustainable neighbourhoods started to emerge around a decade ago. This study analysed the content, structure, weighting and indicators of two established certification systems for sustainable urban development – BREEAM Communities and LEED for Neighborhood Development. Several limitations of these systems were identified: both have a bias for procedure and feature indicators over indicators that assess actual performance; performance demands are set according to a relative understanding of sustainable development; the focus is on internal sustainability, while upstream and downstream impacts of construction are disregarded; the number and distribution of mandatory issues do not cover essential sustainability aspects; and the disproportionately large number of non-mandatory issues makes benchmarking difficult and signals that sustainability aspects are exchangeable. Altogether, this means that an area can be certified without being sustainable. Moreover, the lack of continuous development of certification requirements in the systems means that they risk exerting a conservative effect on urban development, rather than pushing it forward. - Highlights: • BREEAM-C and LEED-ND were analysed in terms of content and structure. • Specific attention was given to the type of indicators used for showing compliance. • In both systems procedure and feature indicators dominate over performance indicators. • Several other limitations of these certification systems were also identified. • Altogether the limitations imply that a certificate does not warrant sustainability.