A New Model of Urban Regeneration


The EcoDistricts Protocol

Version 1.2

The Global Performance Standard that Empowers Sustainable Neighborhood- and District-Scale Development

ed-protocol-concentric-circlesTo foster a new model and era of urban regeneration, EcoDistricts has created the EcoDistricts Protocol: a framework for achieving people-centered, economically vibrant, planet-loving neighborhood sustainability.

Empowering Urban Regeneration Practitioners to Commit to and Achieve the Highest Levels of Sustainability

Embracing the standards within the EcoDistricts Protocol is a mark of neighborhood- or district-scale sustainability leadership. It confirms a district’s commitment to inclusiveness, transparency, information sharing, and peer-to-peer learning. These elements are central to the Protocol.

The Protocol Fosters Neighborhood- and District-Scale Sustainability By:

  • Providing a flexible yet rigorous performance framework
  • Forming inclusive governance to spur effective planning and project delivery
  • Supporting robust public-private-civic partnerships
  • Aligning leadership to improve cross-sector collaboration
  • Setting meaningful performance targets based on a comprehensive district assessment
  • Integrating equity, resilience and climate protection into all facets of district planning

Launched globally in April 2016, the Protocol was developed over five years with support from 100+ global advisors and testing across 11 districts in 8 North American cities. Download and use the Protocol for free any time and receive instant updates on future editions. Versions 1.2 was published October 2016. LEARN WHAT’S NEW IN VERSION 1.2


3 Imperatives

Putting people and planet at the center of change


6 Priorities

Achieving Meaningful Outcomes


3 Implementation Phases

Catalyzing District-Scale Sustainability


Supporting a Full Range of Districts

The Protocol supports existing and new districts, brownfield sites, business districts, institutional campuses, industrial lands and mixed-use districts of any size

What People Are Saying About the Protocol:

"The Protocol offers a roadmap for city leaders and innovators looking to address core issues facing their communities, helping guide them toward equitable decision-making during a time of rapid urban change."


"Unlike top-down prescriptive tools that apply uniformly across the country, the EcoDistricts Protocol organizes issues and aspirations into an action plan that’s built on local engagement and stakeholder-owned target-setting."

Criterion Planners

"By emphasizing the need for leadership, governance, and collaboration, the EcoDistricts Protocol gives the structure and guidance needed to link multiple green and sustainable projects together and deliver outcomes exponentially over time."

Global Green

"The EcoDistricts Protocol is a flexible framework with collaborative governance at its core that enables stakeholders to collectively define where they are now, where they want to go, and how they want to get there."

Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney

"The Protocol drives community collaboration. It allowed us to develop an important role as a ‘dot-connector’ between stakeholders, including the various levels of government, utilities, other institutions and the private sector."

Ottawa Centre Ecodistrict

Protocol Research and Development

Read details of the rigorous engagement strategy EcoDistricts employed across 150 advisors to develop the Protocol