Home Back Issues June 2012 Developing districts

Developing districts

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Article Index
Developing districts
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4

Defining an eco-district

0612 DevelopingDistricts Sidebar01An eco-district is more a way of thinking about environmentally sustainable practices than a physically transformed space.

At first blush, the term seems to suggest a defined area filled with green spaces, hybrid vehicles, state-of-the-art mass transit systems and green buildings sprouting solar arrays and green roofs. Those could all be elements of an eco-district, but Portland eco-district leaders say the concept is more a way to get businesses, government agencies and residents to agree on a shared set of values centered around sustainability and environmental awareness.

“Eco-districts are a framework,” says Nicole Isle, director of sustainability and planning for green consultant Brightworks’ western region.

In other words, a visitor might not notice much difference between a shopping excursion in an eco-district versus a non-eco-district. But the shopper doesn’t see the food-waste-to-compost initiative undertaken by the area restaurants, or the energy efficient upgrades building owners agreed to implement, or the highly efficient district-wide energy system. The visitor might not even notice that existing park and open spaces now have many more trees busy sequestering carbon.

Most eco-district proposals center around energy efficient buildings and water systems, storm water and run-off improvements, transportation, green spaces, incentives for residents and employees to use mass transit, and food-waste composting.

An eco-district is a neighborhood or other distinct district with a broad commitment to accelerating district scale sustainability, according to the Portland Sustainability Institute. The idea is to create a triple-bottom-line community with the lowest environmental impact and the highest long-term economic and community returns.

At its heart, the eco-district movement is a way to get all the parties in a defined district to agree on measures that lead to the coveted triple bottom line: good for people, the planet and business profits. For more information, visit the eco-district section at pdxinstitute.org.

Dan McMillan is a Portland-based journalist. His previous story for Oregon Business was on Diebold Lumber. Reach him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



 

More Articles

Wheel man

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Les Schwab has put a premium on customer service since 1952, when legendary namesake Les Schwab founded the company with one store in Prineville. (Schwab died in 2007.) But if the corporate principles remain essentially the same, the world around this iconic Oregon business has changed dramatically.


Read more...

Car ignition recalls and lean product design

Contributed Blogs
Friday, April 11, 2014
04.11.14 thumb gm-gettyTOM COX | OB BLOGGER

The auto industry is starting to share more costs across manufacturers for complex and challenging design work, like new transmission design, and certain new engine technologies. What we’re not yet seeing is wholesale outsourcing of “unavoidable waste” components to specialist companies.


Read more...

Rapid ascent

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
IMG 4255-2BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Kelly Dachtler, president of The Clymb, redefines outdoor retail.


Read more...

Why I became an educator

News
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
03.04.14 thumbnail teachBY DEBRA RINGOLD | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

How can we strengthen the performance of institutions charged with teaching what Francis Fukuyama calls the social virtues (reciprocity, moral obligation, duty toward community, and trust) necessary for successful markets and democracy itself?


Read more...

How to help your staff solve their own problems

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 21, 2014
03.21.14 thumb coxcoffeeTOM COX | OB BLOGGER

During a recent talk to HR Directors, I asked if they saw leaders trying to solve every problem, instead of delegating to and empowering staff. Every head nodded. Every single one.


Read more...

Q & A with Chuck Eggert

News
Thursday, March 06, 2014
03.06.14 thumb pacfoodsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

The founder of Pacific Foods talks about why his company has flown under the radar in Oregon, how saving a family-run chicken hatchery has helped his bottom line and why he thinks organic food is anything but elitist.


Read more...

The 2014 List: The Top 33 Large Companies to Work, For in Oregon

March 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014

100best14logoWebOur 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.

 


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS