Ecocity Builders

Ecocity Builders (1992; Oakland CA; 10 staff, 24 associates; ecocitybuilders.org)

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.

Programs:

  • 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

Publications:

  • 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.

Leadership: Kirstin Miller (Executive Director), Richard Register (Founder)

Budget: $332k (2016)

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