The India Street Ecodistrict, Portland, Maine
In 2013 the City of Portland initiated a process to prepare an India Street Sustainable Neighborhood Plan, with completion expected in June 2014. As part of this process the City and the Portland Society of Architects (PSA) applied to the Urban Sustainability Accelerator (USA) in Portland, Oregon for assistance with plan development and implementation. Maine officials travelled to Oregon in summer 2013 to attend workshops and view sustainable development examples, and a USA-recruited team from the University of California at Davis visited Maine in December 2013 to develop sustainable neighborhood plan recommendations.
The UC Davis team visited Portland on December 10-17, 2013. We met with city planning staff and other interested individuals, and conducted a sustainable neighborhood brainstorming session at the first meeting of the India Street Neighborhood Advisory Committee, held December 11, 2013 at the Maine Jewish Museum. We then conducted an initial report-back and brainstorming session with city staff, PSA members, and others at City Hall on December 13, and made a final presentation to a larger group at the Portland Public Library on Monday, December 15.
Our overall recommendation is that the City develop a package of proactive strategies within the India Street Sustainable Neighborhood Plan that cover many sustainability dimensions, are educational and inspirational as well as practical, and establish a model for other neighborhoods within Portland and nationally. We also recommend that the City establish a Sustainable India Street Implementation Committee that can coordinate sustainability initiatives on an ongoing basis.