First Advisor

Anna Goodman

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Architecture and University Honors




Sustainable urban development -- Pacific Northwest, Ecological districts -- Pacific Northwest -- Case studies, Neighborhoods -- Pacific Northwest -- Case studies




This thesis examines sustainable neighborhood design concepts called ecodistricts in the Pacific Northwest via a comparison of two case studies in order to determine patterns and best practices that have emerged over the past decade in the field of sustainable urban development. Through a practice-based research methodology, combined with a discourse analysis, The Village (LEED for Neighborhood Development) in Vancouver BC and Capitol Hill EcoDistrict in Seattle will be evaluated within the context of a growing regional focus on environmental design and urban sustainability. Both ecodistricts are regarded as key precedents of sustainable neighborhood models, but they differ in initial project objectives as well as final outcomes. Thus, in order to better inform urban designers during future related projects, it is important to understand how and why these two ecodistricts function and perform differently. Through an examination of publicity rhetoric, urban context and scale, and process of development, this thesis concludes by proposing a more incremental approach to ecodistrict implementation as opposed to rapid, large-scale, single-phase developments that leave little to no room for community engagement or future improvements. The conclusions of this research are intended to provide constructive recommendations for other cities and neighborhoods aspiring to form ecodistricts and pursue sustainability within their communities.


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