EcoDistricts’ Bennett calls for green neighborhood development

Photo by Dewita Soeharjono. Cropped to fit.

This article is republished with permission from the Southface Journal.

Since 1998, Greenprints has brought together thought leaders in sustainability throughout the Southeast and beyond to discuss building performance, energy policy, community design and more. In that tradition, we were honored to have Rob Bennett as our 2017 keynote. Bennett, a recognized leader in the sustainable cities movement, is CEO of EcoDistricts, and his keynote address highlights urban regeneration.

In his presentation, Bennett reimagines neighborhood-scale development as the fundamental solution that will transform cities into sustainable neighborhoods. While addressing steps that are currently being taken in the right direction, Bennett stresses that we need to move faster if we want to have a bright future for our communities and planet. He also articulates that city leaders need to prioritize partnerships and place-based investments that surpass the status quo real estate and infrastructure paradigm.

Bennett introduces the five key principles that drive EcoDistricts’ work and improve market transformation strategies.

  • Equity and community
  • Thriving urban ecology around built environments
  • Resilience and clean energy to fight climate change
  • Innovations that go beyond real estate and infrastructure
  • Performative rather than prescriptive strategies

The projects that Bennett references in his address employ practical, sustainable solutions for creating flourishing neighborhoods, such as using often forgotten and underutilized acreage to build up communities.

“Every one of these projects has the opportunity to have an environmental and social story or have an agenda. That’s the fundamental reason that we started EcoDistricts. We wanted to be an intermediary, national voice for linking the dots between social and environmental innovation space at the neighborhood scale,” said Bennett.

Bennett covers sustainable building projects taking place in Portland, Atlanta and even Sydney, Australia.

To find out more about the projects and people who are leading this new age of building, watch Robb Bennett’s keynote address below.

Featured photo at top by Dewita Soeharjono. Cropped with permission via Creative Commons.

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