Currently, next generation energy goals are largely being pursued through green buildings, making buildings efficient, one at a time; and development and deployment of individual energy technologies – such as solar, wind power, or co-generation. While individual buildings and individual technologies have made a significant contribution, as our LEED Platinum headquarters, among others, has demonstrated, it is hard to take them to scale quickly enough.
In the long run, more comprehensive and ‘disruptive’ strategies need to be developed to realize the full potential of renewables and efficiency in an urban context. It’s not enough just to figure out how to add more solar collectors to the existing system. The underlying infrastructure of cities needs to change to achieve long-range goals, and integrated, district-scale systems are a big part of what is necessary.
EcoDistricts are the cutting edge of sustainability solutions that use a district scale to achieve greater impact. They link energy, transportation, water, land use, urban agriculture, and more in an integrated, equitable, and efficient resource system. Each EcoDistrict is unique and designed to meet the needs of its residents, businesses, and institutions, serving as innovation labs for cities and regions.