Why ecodistricts? The answer is simple, according to Portland, Oregon-based EcoDistricts – a Council Advisor:
"They are the fastest way to create the neighborhoods of the future: resilient, healthy, prosperous and just. Places where people love to live, work, play and learn."
Toward that end, the organization is inviting teams from North American cities to participate in its 2014 EcoDistrict Incubator. The Incubator is a three-day executive training program that prepares urban sustainability and development leaders to advance an ecodistrict project in their community. It brings together 8 to 10 “city teams” represented by senior municipal officials, utility providers, community developers and civic leaders to co-create a comprehensive ecodistricts roadmap for their project.
This will be the third EcoDistrict Incubator; to date 18 teams from cities large and small have been through the program and are making progress implementing their projects. For example:
• San Francisco recently developed a citywide ecodistrict policy framework and is launching its first ecodistrict pilot in the South of Market Central Corridor area (pictured here). The area is expecting about 10,000 units of new housing and 35,000 new jobs in the next few years, and the city will assist the neighborhood’s growth with an emphasis on smart growth approaches.
• Cleveland, Ohio through its Office of Sustainability, Neighborhood Progress Inc. and Enterprise Community Partners, has spearheaded the ecodistrict conversation for the last year and a half by bringing the citywide Climate Action Plan to a neighborhood level. Through this work, the city will create “The Community Climate Toolkit,” a process replicable in any neighborhood throughout Cleveland, including a process for financing neighborhood-based climate action.
The 2014 EcoDistricts Incubator will take place in Portland, Oregon from Wednesday, May 7, to Friday, May 9. An informational call for interested parties will be held on Feb. 6. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. PST on March 5. Learn more about program requirements, costs and registration details.