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Portland Neighborhoods to Start EcoDistrict Projects

Oct. 26, 2011 | Northwest Public Radio
CONTRIBUTED BY:
Courtney Flatt

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Several Portland neighborhoods are on their way to becoming more sustainable, thanks to a new partnership that will be announced Thursday.

Five Portland neighborhoods will be named as EcoDistricts. That means they’ll have a goal of becoming more environmentally friendly.

The neighborhoods will work to become carbon neutral, over time eliminating the use of fossil fuels. With the announcement, Portland becomes one of 58 cities around the world with EcoDistricts that will get help from the Clinton Climate Initiative.

The Portland Sustainability Institute’s Rob Bennett says neighborhood projects will range from bike sharing to opening farmer’s markets. Getting citizens involved will be important to the projects’ success.

“The power of EcoDistricts in green neighborhood development strategies is: we’re looking to get better performance using fewer resources and engaging the community in the activities,” Bennett says.

The neighborhoods selected for the project vary in density, geography and household income levels.

Portland’s involvement with the Clinton Climate Initiative will add to the city’s international recognition for its work to establish EcoDistricts. On Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed a statement of Intent with the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department, outlining a strategy to promote “low carbon, high technology and low pollution” communities and expand capacity in environmental protection.

According to a statement issued by Portland Mayor Sam Adams’ office, the Oregon city has been identified by the EPA to be the implementing partner in this agreement to build sustainable communities. Hong Kong is building district cooling and looking to reduce coal use, and will be looking to Portland’s expertise in EcoDistricts.

© 2011 Northwest Public Radio
Portland EcoDistrict Portland Sustainability Institute Clinton Climate Initiative
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