Valarie Avalone, Director of Planning and Chair of MCC’s Sustainability Steering Committee, is representing MCC on the seven member High Falls EcoDistrict Critical Team. The team was one of eleven teams from across the country selected for this year’s EcoDistrict Incubator held May 17-20 in Portland, Oregon.
The Incubator is an executive-level training and capacity building program consisting of dynamic group work sessions with fellow urban development practitioners and industry experts with a single purpose – to accelerate district-scale sustainability. The team met with public officials, industry leaders and civic entrepreneurs who are leading change in their areas.
An EcoDistrict is a new model of public-private partnership that emphasizes innovation and deployment of district-scale best practices to create the neighborhoods of the future – resilient, vibrant, resource efficient and just. EcoDistricts are transformational and based in sustainable design and development.
Next steps for the Critical Team will be to engage in a two-year planning study supported by a NYSERDA grant to identify projects that will advance the EcoDistrict framework. They will target projects in transportation, energy, recycling, bio-diversity and water that can benefit residents, develop new green spaces and reduce the area’s overall greenhouse gas footprint. They will address environmental goals that include improved waste management solutions, reduced carbon footprint, energy and water efficiencies, storm water management, and habitat through a combination of mixed use, mixed income development, neighborhood scale parks, schools, and services.
The district will encompass neighborhoods adjacent to the Genesee River Gorge at High Falls, as well as Frontier Field, Sahlen’s Stadium, the new MCC downtown campus and parts of the JOSANA neighborhood.
Heze Simmons, CFO and Vice President