Nice recap of Portland's recent EcoDistricts Summit:
By Kristin Belz
Pioneers change over time, just as cities do. Not that long ago (when it opened in 1960), Lloyd Center was a pioneer: an open air, car-oriented shopping mall. Now it's the center of a new kind of pioneer, a fledgling EcoDistrict, poster child for the five Portland eco-districts leading the way into the green, energy-efficient, healthy and sustainable 21st century.
What is an eco-district? Good question. The recent EcoDistricts Summit held at Portland State University had the answers, and was itself a clear indication of how city planning – and mainstream real estate development – changes over time, to the benefit of us all. We live and learn, as individuals, societies, and cities, from our mistakes and from the knowledge we accumulate over time.
The Portland Sustainability Institute (PoSI) knows what an eco-district is. They're a leading proponent of this new term for the latest and greatest way to build a city today, and are helping defining it. (Actually, "eco-district" is not exactly a brand new nomenclature, but has taken about a decade to get any traction.) PoSI was the lead sponsor of the EcoDistricts Summit. Their website tells us that "an eco-district is a neighborhood or district with a broad commitment to accelerate neighborhood-scale sustainability. EcoDistricts commit to achieving ambitious sustainability performance goals, guiding district investments and community action, and tracking the results over time." Got it? It's a logical step forward from the connection planners, politicos and citizens made in the 1970s and '80s to connect land use and transportation policies. Now, health – of the planet and its people – and resources are up front considerations as well. READ MORE >>
And nice insights into the Lloyd EcoDistrict, planned by Mithun (and the subject of my 2008 book, Integrated Design: Mithun):