What We Do
Building Blocks of Sustainable Cities
An EcoDistrict 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.
PoSI recognizes that technologies and strategies for enhancing neighborhood sustainability, such as energy and water management systems, green streets, and resource conservation, are well known. However, the widespread deployment of these strategies has been slow to develop due to lack of comprehensive assessment tools, scalable project capital, and public policy support. The EcoDistricts Initiative focuses on removing these implementation barriers and creating an enabling strategy to accelerate neighborhood-scale sustainability.
The EcoDistricts Initiative is distinct from most green development strategies focusing on brownfield or greenfield development that are primarily led by master developers or public agencies. Instead, the EcoDistricts Initiative targets neighborhoods — at the intersection of buildings, infrastructure and people. PoSI is working upstream of rating systems like LEED-ND to develop tools and strategies for engagement and project implementation.
The EcoDistricts Initiative brings together community stakeholders, property developers, utilities, and the City of Portland to solidify a shared sense of purpose and partnership through the following actions:
To test these concepts, PoSI is working with five pilot districts to guide strategic planning, community engagement and catalytic investments. Over a three-year period, district stakeholders agree to set rigorous goals, develop a roadmap, and implement projects. In return, PoSI and its public partners are providing technical and financial resources to support the work. The EcoDistricts pilot process includes the following four phases:
Fundamentally, the EcoDistricts Initiative is an effort to deploy appropriate district-scale sustainable projects that drive experimentation and innovation. PoSI expects the EcoDistricts Initiative to produce a set of tools and strategies that cities can use in support of integrated policy goals around climate change, green building, mobility, watershed and ecosystem health, economic development, and community wellbeing.
For further information:
Check out our publications page to read the EcoDistricts Initiative framework and a summary of the program.
Want to learn more? Email with questions or to schedule a presentation for your office or organization.