EcoDistricts Summit 2019

By Joshua Baker

A couple of weeks ago I was in Pittsburgh for the first time and I fell in love with it! I am originally from Chicago and have a soft spot for old industrial cities– the scale, the building stock, the over the top sports fandom (Da Bears!), and the practical way that cities and citizens seems to get down to business. Pittsburgh did not disappoint. I was so impressed with the way Pittsburghers have come together and turned around their city, which was reeling from 28% unemployment decades of industrial pollution, disinvestment and layoffs. Today, Pittsburgh is a lively city of opportunity and innovation specifically around green building, infrastructure and community development, even utilizing the EcoDistrict protocol as official city neighborhood planning criteria.

I was in Pittsburgh for the EcoDistrict summit. I always look forward to it because it is a chance for me to see what other EcoDistrict practitioners are doing around the country and world, to get some much needed inspiration and hope for the work we are doing here in Lloyd, and to connect with my peeps. The Lower Hill redevelopment project with the Penguins and the Hill Community Development Corporation were inspiring to me, especially as we in Lloyd look to the Albina Vision plan and how that redevelopment opportunity could knit together the values of the historic Albina neighborhood with future Portland and arena needs.

The icing on the cake was that Lloyd EcoDistrict was honored to receive a Citymaker award! As Rob Bennett, CEO of EcoDistricts put it, “I’m thrilled to announce that the Lloyd EcoDistrict is part of our inaugural crop of Citymakers Awards winners. Lloyd is an inspiring project on many levels, from the ambition that goes well beyond a typical BID to the new governance model you are demonstrating to drive projects forward in the long term. You have been committed to the Lloyd community from the beginning and the dedication and authenticity in your work shines through, showcasing how multi-sector partnerships can and should happen.”

We are grateful for the recognition and look forward to many more years of progress and projects on behalf of our beloved community.