Ecocity Builders

Founding Year: 1992

Staff: 10

Budget: $332k

Richard Register (Founder)

A non-profit that develops and implements policy, design and educational tools and strategies to build thriving urban centers based on the principle of access by proximity, and to reverse patterns of sprawl and excessive consumption. They define an ecocity as “conditional upon a healthy relationship of the city’s parts and functions, similar to the relationship of organs in living complex organism.” They are concerned with city design, planning, building, and operations in an integral way and in relation to the surrounding environment and natural resources of the region, utilizing organic, ecological and whole-systems lessons to actually reverse the negative impacts of climate change, species extinction and the destruction of the biosphere.


  • Urbinsight – A Global Data Initiative that connects neighborhoods on-the-ground with web-based crowd-mapping tools designed to explore, measure, and act upon holistic urban health data from a citizen’s perspective.
  • Ecocity World Summit – The International Ecocity Conference Series consists of biannual Ecocity World Summits and addresses the way humanity builds its home, promoting the understanding and development of cities that are ecologically healthy and sustainable, economically prosperous and fair, and socially just and caring.
  • Focus Labs – An in-depth issues companion series to the Ecocity World Summit that aims to provide a forum and opportunity to explore new ecocity ideas, different approaches, and innovative ecocity projects in more depth and detail.
  • Consulting – A consulting program on ecologically sensitive building and development projects.
  • Classes & Workshops – Trains a wide range of audiences, including city government, community groups, NGOs and businesses on topics like Participatory GIS and Community Mapping, Waste Audit, and Community Engagement


  • Monthly newsletter and news blog
  • A resource library with around 50 books, papers, and articles.
  • EcoCompass – A participatory course curriculum that has been designed to facilitate student understanding of and participation in several technical, community engagement, and planning processes
  • Urbinsight Platform – Analyzing and visualizing environmental data for cities globally.
  • Profiles in Urban Metabolism – An educational multimedia series in coordination with the Global Initiative for Resource Efficient Cities.
  • Ecocity VR – An educational virtual reality tool that offers virtual tours to learn about the four pillars of the Ecocity Framework.



Ecocity Builders contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
    Calls for an end to poverty globally by 2030 and promotes increased access to basic services and social protection.
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  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
    Aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
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  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being
    Aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, by reducing mortality rates and increasing access to equitable health care for men and women.
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  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
    Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
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  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    Aims to end gender discrimination in all forms and promote equal opportunity for all women and girls in terms of education, career, and sexual/reproductive rights.
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  • SDG 6 -Clean Water and Sanitisation
    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by promoting global access to adequate sanitation and hygiene.
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  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
    Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by promoting affordable and reliable energy sources.
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  • SDG 8 -Decent Work and Economic Growth
    Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
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  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
    Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.  
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  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    Aims to achieve economic growth by reducing inequalities regarding social, economic and political opportunities and freedoms.
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  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
    Aims to promote the globalization of sustainable cities and communities in turn providing universal safe and affordable housing.
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  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
    Aims to create responsible and sustainable practices involving consumption and production through efficiently using natural resources.
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  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
    Calls to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts through global awareness, education, and integration into government policies.
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  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
    Calls to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development and prevent and reduce marine pollution in order to protect ecosystems and achieve healthy oceans.
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  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
    Aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
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  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
    Aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Calls to reduce all forms of violence and deaths related to violence and to end abuse and exploitation
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  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
    Aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development by mobilizing domestic resources in order to provide support for developing countries.
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