Developing districts

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Articles - June 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Eco-district watchers credit the Lloyd District with being the furthest along the eco-district path. The district is preparing guidelines for a building retrofit program to ensure that existing buildings take advantage of energy, water and waste conservation techniques. Heinicke expects to deliver the guidelines to district businesses in July. Guidelines for a proposed districtwide food-waste-to-compost program also will be delivered to district partners in July, she says.

The Lloyd eco-district also is looking at a “green streets” master plan to handle storm-water runoff. That initiative is not under way yet, but likely will build on the work the Portland Development Commission has done on Northeast Holladay Street. Heinicke says she expects to see a more definitive plan emerge in the fall. Another element is a transportation program that builds off the work being done by the district transportation management association. There is not a specific timeline, but the goal is to ensure that the eco-district, transportation management association and city bureau of transportation coordinate projects in the Lloyd eco-district.

One of the most-enthusiastic Lloyd eco-district supporters is Justin Zeulner, director of sustainability and planning for the Portland Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter. He also is the point man on the proposed Lloyd eco-district energy system, which supporters point to as evidence the eco-district is progressing. The system is being developed by Corix Infrastructure, a Vancouver, B.C., company selected by the Portland Development Commission to lead the project. Zeulner hopes to see actual work on the project begin this summer, but Corix and the PDC are still assessing the viability of the plan. Zeulner says financial details are not available.

A district energy system is seen as a way to efficiently and cost-effectively deliver power throughout a district. The idea may very well prove itself, but as currently envisioned the proposed energy system will simply connect the Rose Garden and Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum; both are operated by Paul Allen’s Portland Arena Management, but the coliseum is owned by the city. The Oregon Convention Center is expected to come on-line a year after the Rose Quarter work is completed.

The eco-district idea has captured the attention of Portland’s green-minded leaders, government agencies and businesses. Now those backers will be working to prove eco-districts are more than an interesting concept.

Zeulner says it only makes sense for an organization that built the world’s first LEED gold-certified sports arena to take a leadership role in the development of an eco-district in its own back yard. “We know our impacts and have made some large and exciting goals,” he says. “There is a business case to everything we’ve done, and we feel it is the right thing for our community. We need to look outside the four walls of our building.”



 

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