Christine Mondor, principal of Pittsburgh-based evolveEA
, has been selected as one of eighty international experts, practitioners and leaders to be part of the Ecodistricts Global Protocol Advisory Committee, convened by Portland, Ore., non-profit Ecodistricts.org
The Global Protocol Advisory Committee will discuss goals, milestones and deliverables for establishing a broad adoption of ecodistrict planning and sharing of knowledge. Ecodistricts.org holds an annual summit to promote sustainable urban design principles.
“In order to accelerate sustainability, you need to think at the neighborhood scale,” Mondor says. This is where ecodistricts comes into consideration. Instead of acting as a single home or business owner, ecodistricts encourage action at the neighborhood or block level.
Ecodistricts creatively synthesizes ecology, economics and placemaking to create strong communities and community planning projects across the country.
EvolveEA has worked with communities in Western Pennsylvania to incorporate innovative energy, water and food systems into the design of neighborhoods, planned developments and urban districts.
Ecodistricts.org describes the Protocol as, “a platform for building district governance and leadership, a framework for unleashing innovation, a system for encouraging and rewarding leadership and a blueprint for creating just, sustainable and resilient cities and neighborhoods for all.”
Mondor presented at the annual summit in Boston in November 2013, was part of a Pittsburgh team at the 2014 Ecodistricts Incubator in Portland, Ore. and will be presenting this fall at the Ecodistricts Summit in Washington, D.C.
Mondor calls the summits a place where people from around the world working on sustainable projects find “commonalities” in their efforts. She says those who attend conferences and apply for the Global Protocol Advisory Committee hail from across the globe, from Boston to San Francisco, to Europe and even South America.
The committee hosted their first meeting earlier this month. Mondor says in addition to sharing common experiences, the committee plans to create a framework for cities starting ecodistricts—providing guides and training tools.
Sustainability consulting and design firm evolveEA has led ecodistrict planning, design and stakeholder education initiatives in a number of communities since 2009. The firm’s approach to promoting equity for community members by fostering grassroots capacity-building has been recognized with design awards and invitations to collaborate nationally and internationally.
“I think Pittsburgh is in a really good spot right now to take leadership in this movement,” Mondor says, adding that the city is “ahead of the curve in a lot of ways” and noting green building efforts. She calls the Global Protocol Advisory Committee a convergence of a national movement and local leadership.
Source: Christine Mondor, evolveEA