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The Dish

EcoDistricts: Building Blocks of Sustainable Cities - Presentation by Rob Bennett

Rob Bennett of the Portland Sustainability Institute (PoSI) will discuss the importance and urgency of accelerating district-scale sustainable development. Rob will present best practices and lessons learned in implementing sustainable neighborhood projects from Portland's five EcoDistrict pilots, internationally precedents and his 14+ years of experience in sustainable development.

With opening remarks by City of Austin Chief Sustainability Officer Lucia Athens.

Today, city leaders struggle with providing basic services, rebuilding infrastructure, revitalizing neighborhoods, and responding to the urgency of climate adaptation, energy security, and rising food and resource costs. The urban concentration of people and resources means that cities are increasingly critical to addressing these challenges, requiring adoption of new urban sustainability solutions.

As cities around the world face these pressing issues, the question of scale becomes increasingly important— scale of change, scale of impact and scale of risk. While a large number of cities are adopting ambitious climate and energy reduction goals, most are struggling to bridge the gap between policy aspirations and programmatic implementation strategies that have significant on-the-ground impacts. Given the modest results to date, more ambitious planning and performance-based project investments that link large development and infrastructure projects with community driven projects are essential. Addressing these issues at the district or neighborhood level provides an important scale to test and replicate new methodologies.

This presentation will be held on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 from 6:45 PM - 9:45 PM

University of Texas, School of Architecture, Goldsmith Lecture Hall - Room 3.120, 399 W 22nd St, Austin, TX 78705

More details here.