The Portland Sustainability Institute (PoSI), now called EcoDistricts, pioneered the Ecodistrict model, a framework for public-private partnerships that focus on district-scale innovation and investment to build sustainable neighborhoods. The partnerships may include municipal agencies, policymakers, nonprofits, neighborhood civic organizations and businesses. The framework calls for a district organization that assesses the needs of a community and develops plans for equitable development, health and wellbeing, community identity, access and mobility, and energy use. Ecodistricts invest in transportation alternatives, redevelopment of vacant or underutilized properties, green building, water resource management, energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy generation. There are five pilot Ecodistricts in Portland, which are now administerd by the City’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. EcoDistricts, the organization, is now working beyond Portland and providing “a convening, advocacy, technical assistance and research platform to inform and drive EcoDistrict innovation”.
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