World’s First Standard Unveiled for District-Scale Urban Regeneration

World’s First Standard Unveiled for District-Scale Urban Regeneration

EcoDistricts™ Certified breaks ground with a set of six priorities, 49 objectives and 94 indicators focused on people, placemaking, economic development, mobility, connectivity, wellness, green infrastructure, and resource regeneration
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Friday, November 25, 2016 - 7:35am

CONTENT: Press Release

Portland, Ore., November 25, 2016 /3BL Media/ — EcoDistricts today announced the global launch of EcoDistrictsTM Certified, the world’s first standard designed to accelerate district-scale sustainable development projects worldwide.

"CH2M stands behind EcoDistricts Certified as a framework to deliver livable, prosperous neighborhoods because it offers the key ingredients for success: an accountable roadmap and a collaborative governance model designed to continually drive targeted outcomes in equity, resilience and climate protection,” Joseph Danko, Managing Director, Urban Environments & Sports at CH2M.

"Equity is about how we can come together to envision a new world — of doing this work not apart, but together,” said Nathaniel Smith, Founder and Chief Equity Officer for the Partnership for Southern Equity. “EcoDistricts Certified directly empowers frontline practitioners to collaboratively drive public policy and investment that support balanced, sustained and inclusive prosperity.”

EcoDistricts Certified aims to encourage a new generation of neighborhood- and district-scale development projects that embrace social equity, resiliency and environmental regeneration. It is structured around three core areas:

  • LEADERSHIP: Three imperatives that include Equity, Resilience and Climate Protection as indispensable cornerstones of a district’s long-term sustainability strategy.
  • PERFORMANCE: A set of six priorities, 49 objectives, and 94 indicators that promote investments in placemaking, economic development, mobility and connectivity, health and wellness, green infrastructure and resource regeneration.
  • GOVERNANCE, IMPLEMENTATION & REPORTING: Meaningful and long-lasting collaboration across all phases of development and implementation and ongoing measurement and verification to measure impact and share the results.

“The launch of the EcoDistricts Certified — an initiative that Enterprise has helped guide — is an important framework for guiding catalytic neighborhood investments,” said Laurel Blatchford, Senior Vice President, Solutions at Enterprise Community Partners.
“It emphasizes partnerships built on shared values, collaborative governance and a commitment to measuring impact over time.  We look forward to supporting our community partners to leverage EcoDistricts Certified to bring the highest benefits of sustainability to neighborhoods across the U.S.”

“Neighborhoods are the heart and soul of cities,” said EcoDistricts CEO, Rob Bennett. “In a time of tremendous environmental and social turmoil, EcoDistricts aims to catalyze urban regeneration that pushes the boundaries of what our neighborhoods and cities need to become.”

“At a time when both our population and politics are shifting to cities, EcoDistricts Certified helps us manage our changing social and environmental conditions with intention — allowing us to shape the most desirable ways we can live in them,” said Ryan Gravel, founder of the Atlanta Beltline, author and urbanist.

The launch of the EcoDistricts Certified is the culmination of more than five years of research, development and advisement from more than 150 diverse industry experts and 16 district-scale projects worldwide. To support the market adoption and promulgation of EcoDistricts Certified, EcoDistricts is also launching the EcoDistricts Accredited Professional (AP) credentialing program. To download the EcoDistricts Protocol and learn more about EcoDistricts Certified and Accredited Professional (AP), visit

“Measuring high-reaching performance and accelerating innovation are hallmarks of Santa Monica’s sustainability vision. We’re thrilled that City Yards is partnering with EcoDistricts to become one of the first Certified districts in the world and hope this commitment inspires other communities worldwide to embrace this commitment too.” said Susan Cline, Director of Public Works Department, City of Santa Monica.

Over the coming year, EcoDistricts will partner with several industry leaders to roll out EcoDistricts Certified and its accompanying EcoDistricts Accredited Professional programs worldwide. Firms ARUP, Mithun, CH2M, and ZGF have committed to accredit a percentage of their teams, and several are hosting regional trainings or lectures to broaden access to both programs.

Further, the 2017 EcoDistricts Incubator, taking place April 19-21 in Portland, Oregon, will immerse 10 diverse district teams deeply into the certification process.

“EcoDistricts Certified represents an important framework to help city leaders think about sustainability in an integrated way and at a scale that is truly effective,” said Joel Mills, Senior Director, Communities by Design, The American Institute of Architects. “Using the Protocol, cities can build momentum for scalable change that transforms urban sustainability and positions communities for success in the 21st century.”

“The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) congratulates EcoDistricts on the successful launch of EcoDistricts Certified,” said Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of CaGBC. “With a focus on the process of how to plan, drive and implement change at the district level, EcoDistricts Certified is filling a gap in the urban development market that is poised to drive the delivery of sustainable, healthy, vibrant neighbourhoods.”

EcoDistricts is propelling a new model of urban regeneration to empower just, sustainable, resilient neighborhoods for all. Through an integrated suite of programs, convening, and a project certification system, we aim to mobilize, empower, and accelerate sustainable urban development leadership throughout North America and beyond to address the most critical challenges facing cities today. Learn more at

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Tiffany Meyer
+1 (503) 880-5308