Building a smart city one EcoDistrict at a time

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  Portland, Oregon-based EcoDistricts seeks to inspire cities to remake themselves from the neighborhoods up. The nonprofit organization works with city builders and entrepreneurs, policymakers and innovators to create vibrant neighborhoods and smart cities. It disseminates district-scale best practices to create the neighborhoods of the future.

An EcoDistrict is a neighborhood with a broad commitment to accelerate local sustainability. EcoDistricts commit to achieving ambitious sustainability goals and tracking the results. Success is measured around eight performance areas, including: energy, water, equitable development, community identity, access and mobility, habitat and ecosystem function, health and well-being, and materials management.

Although every EcoDistrict is different, many include elements such as district energy, green job creation, livability enhancements, stormwater strategies and comprehensive transportation planning. The EcoDistricts organization has created a tool to guide cities and urban development practitioners from concept through implementation, with an emphasis on process management and community collaboration.