During the 10th Annual EcoDistricts Summit in Pittsburgh last month, the organization initiated the first EcoDistricts Citymakers Awards on November 4 at Phipps Conservatory where key individuals, organizations, and neighborhood projects were recognized for fueling the EcoDistricts movement.
The awards, presented by EcoDistricts CEO Rob Bennett and Brionté McCorkle, ED of Georgia Conservation Voters, acknowledged and celebrated the work done by sustainable development leaders and catalytic district- and neighborhood-scale projects that are working towards a more equitable and sustainable future in urban communities.
“The EcoDistricts movement is led by an inspiring number of urban changemakers. The work is hard and takes time. The work is critical to the future of our cities, communities and planet,” said Bennett. “I’m thrilled to acknowledge their relentless effort and commitment, much of which is done quietly and behind the scenes on behalf of their communities.”
Among a select number of awardees included:
The Borough of Etna for becoming the World’s First Certified EcoDistrict in October of this year. The borough completed a rigorous verification process that assessed the Borough’s project governance, integrated implementation roadmap, and commitments to equity, resilience and climate action. Etna EcoDistrict receives support from New Sun Rising through the Triboro Ecodistrict and Sustainability VISTA.
“Being an outlying borough with a long history of environmental/economic traumas, this moment to be recognized for something positive, as a leader, and the first Certified EcoDistrict is so rare, so special, and so meaningful to us,” said Robert Tuñon, a district leader in Etna’s planning and community engagement process.
Millvale Ecodistrict for the formation of its award-winning EcoDistrict Pivot Plan, which led to a broader partnership between Sharpsburg and Etna, and the creation of the Triboro Ecodistrict. The Borough, Millvale Community Library, Millvale Community Development Corporation, and New Sun Rising have committed a tremendous amount of time and energy to Millvale and EcoDistricts by hosting and planning trainings including the EcoDistricts Incubator this past April that was held at the Millvale Food + Energy Hub. The borough is currently pursuing EcoDistrict certification.
Christine Mondor, Principal at evolveEA, for her work creating the EcoDistrict Protocol and shaping the EcoDistricts Incubator program. Mondor is one of the leading EcoDistricts practitioners in the county and helped Millvale develop its award-winning Ecodistrict Pivot Plan as well as helped Etna attain Ecodistrict Certification.
The City of Pittsburgh for leadership in advancing neighborhood and district-scale equitable and sustainable development throughout the city and fostering growth for areas like Larimer, Uptown, Homewood, Millvale, Etna, Sharpsburg, downtown, and the Lower Hill District. Recently, the City has deepened its commitment to sustainability by becoming the first city in the United States to officially adopt the EcoDistrict Protocol to guide further neighborhood planning.
“The EcoDistricts Protocol helps sharpen the City’s commitment to bringing racial equity and environmental sustainability to all Pittsburgh neighborhoods. We are proud to be an EcoDistricts leader and hope our commitment inspires other cities to follow suit,” said Grant Ervin, City of Pittsburgh Chief Resilience Officer.