Second Annual North American Ecodistricts Incubator Program
May 29, 2013 - May 31, 2013 • Portland, OR
The Ecodistricts Incubator is an initiative of the Portland Sustainability Institute. It was initially launched in May 2012 as the the Ecodistricts Institute with a seed grant from Blackstone Ranch Institute. This will be its second gathering, at which pilot ecodistrict projects will be selected from participating cities.
The incubator is an executive level training program for experts in neighborhood planning, urban design, green infrastructure, project finance and public policy that builds upon the growing recognition that the neighborhood — or ecodistrict — is an important scale at which to test and implement sustainability strategies. Ecodistricts are small enough to allow rapid innovation, and big enough to have a meaningful impact on city development. The role of the incubator is to curate and present the best ways to help participating cities develop the private, nonprofit and academic partnerships needed to implement sustainable ecodistrict strategies for their communities.
At the gathering in 2012, more than 50 leaders from 10 cities in North America and 27 industry leaders attended. Participating cities included Austin, Bellingham, Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Guadalajara (Mexico), Mountain View, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Vancouver (British Columbia). They were introducted to the framework for ecodistrict development developed by the Portland Sustainability Institute, and offered examples of ecodistrict models and efforts from participants. Several returned home with plans for ecodistrict initiatives in their cities.
Blackstone Ranch Institute is offering a second year of seed money to further develop this important initiative.