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Eco-districts: Test Beds for Technology and Infrastructure Innovation and Linking Mitigation and Adaptation Planning

Prof. Joan Fitzgerald, Northeastern University
Wednesday, June 18 @ 10:10am


Many cities have developed climate action plans that address climate mitigation and to a lesser extent, climate adaptation. Much effort has been devoted to identifying the practices and policies of leading cities and to figuring out how they can be adapted and replicated elsewhere. A key similarity among Europe’s leading sustainable cities—Stockholm, Malmö, Freiburg, and Copenhagen, to name a few—is that they have developed eco-districts to experiment with new technologies and practices that can be applied throughout the city to accelerate the achievement of sustainability and climate action goals. Now, many North American cities are experimenting with district-scale sustainability projects to achieve citywide climate action goals. District-scale sustainability refers to a wide spectrum of activities, ranging from developer-and-municipality-led projects, to community-based, affordable housing initiatives, to narrowly focused strategies for a given building or complex, to coordinated plans for infrastructure development. Many practitioners view the district as the “sweet spot” between the building and the city in achieving climate action goals. The project discussed today attempts to answer three questions: To what extent do cities use the lessons from experimentation in eco-districts to accelerate practices in other parts of the city? To what extent does planning at the district level allow integration of mitigation and adaptation goals? What is the process of organizational learning and adaptation that improves overall achievement of climate action goals?


Presentation Slides
5236 kb uploaded September 30, 2014 12:06pm