October 30, 2018 / Member News

Introduction to EcoDistricts (Video)

Baltimore, MD (October 30, 2018) – On October 23, the AIA Baltimore Committee on the Environment and Resiliency (COTE |R) hosted a webinar presented by EcoDistricts. Based in Portland, Oregon, EcoDistricts is a national non-profit organization pioneering a new approach to community development that put people at the forefront, and make equity and sustainability goals in the creation of neighborhoods for all. The webinar showed examples of being done around the world to create just, resilient, and sustainable neighborhoods. It featured knowledgeable speakers, innovative research and a variety of perspectives from which we can learn best practices as we seek to implement sustainable development in Baltimore.
The EcoDistricts process provides a flexible, holistic and rigorous development approach that starts with people. It provides the “how to” framework for communities to organize and achieve their own goals. Communities implementing EcoDistricts are leading the work to:

  • Change the traditional planning process by involving all stakeholders – city planners, developers, place-based organizations and individuals – from the beginning in co-developing a plan, instead of simply creating a plan and then seeking feedback.
  • Create a community governance model to guide the work over time;
  • Implement projects that balance sustainability, equality, and resilience;
  • Focus on livability, health and community need in planning, not just green infrastructure.
  • Track and report their progress over time

Learn more about EcoDistricts programs and certification standard at www.ecodistricts.org.
Green Smart Cities, a Baltimore initiative is currently working on building an EcoDistrict within the city limits. Focused on sustainability economic development, green technology (vertical farming/aquaculture), and STEM education, etc they seek to build partnerships with symbiotic organizations to leverage our collective work and improve the social determinants of health of the citizens of Baltimore.
Watch a recording of the webinar