First Advisor

Thaddeus Miller

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

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


Community Development


Ecological districts -- Oregon -- Portland -- Case studies, City planning -- Oregon -- Portland -- Case studies, Sustainable development -- Oregon -- Portland




This research aims to gain a better understanding for how the processes, goals, and actions are formulated and implemented throughout three EcoDistricts within Portland, Foster Green, Living Cully, and South of Market (SoMa). More specifically, this study will analyze how these districts are formed around three different drivers in the push for sustainability. The research will use case studies to provide insight into exactly what those drivers might be, whether they be citizens, institutions, etc., and then what this means for on-the-ground results. As EcoDistricts currently reside as the most well-known example for neighborhood sustainability in Portland, and arguably across the United States, this research will analyze the EcoDistricts process and look to infer how this translates to general neighborhood-scale efforts. Challenges and possible solutions will then be brought forth to help set up future research into the field. This paper will draw out the major themes present in neighborhood-scale literature that suggest successful sustainable efforts. I will then use this research to provide context for Portland's biggest neighborhood-scale effort, EcoDistricts. Through the analysis of SoMa, Foster Green, and Living Cully, I will then draw on the successes and failures of the districts, tie them back to the literature, and finish by analyzing what this means for future discussion around neighborhood-scale sustainability efforts. Methods of research include qualitative content analysis, interviews, and extensive scholarly research to ascertain a full understanding of the processes, goals, and actions within the three varying EcoDistricts.


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