The EcoDistrict planning approach to the creation of better neighborhoods provides a flexible, holistic and rigorous framework for organizing and achieving policy, sustainability and investment goals.  We recently attended the EcoDistricts Foundation Training that was offered in nearby Millvale, PA -a community in the process of EcoDistrict certification.  The success of creating a certified EcoDistrict is reliant upon the positive collaboration of developers, municipal officials, community members, design professionals among others, to plan and prioritize community objectives and measure success over time.  Our EcoDistrict training course reflected this diverse group of key players, all interested in learning about sustainability on a district wide scale.

Through a “systems thinking” approach, EcoDistricts strive to create a standard for innovative communities based on three fundamental “imperatives” of equity, resilience and climate protection.  The approach addresses the challenges of complex, interdependent systems, emphasizes the ongoing measurement of performance and supports a community based “bottom up” approach to making it happen.

We took a walking tour of Millvale and learned of the many exciting initiatives that the community is undertaking in the Millvale Ecodistrict Pivot 2.0 Plan.   We look forward to more Pittsburgh neighborhoods embracing the EcoDistrict framework to create sustainable neighborhoods and joining the ranks of certified EcoDistrict communities.