Revitalizing Detroit a hot topic at EcoDistricts Incubator in Portland

The third annual EcoDistricts Incubator hosts seven cities in Portland, Oregon to help launch green ideas for city revitalization.

Earlier this month I attended the third annual EcoDistricts Incubator in Portland, Oregon. The organization, EcoDistricts, hosts the event which guides teams through stages to build “sustainable cities from the neighborhood up.”  For each of the past three years, teams from various cities are selected through an application process that reviews their goals and objectives, team member qualifications, and vision for vibrant neighborhood projects.

Selected teams attend the EcoDistricts Incubator event and discuss, identify, and plan next steps to launch their ideas. This year, eight teams were selected from seven different cities across North America. It was the first time that one city, Detroit, Michigan, was represented twice by two different teams. Other city teams included Boise, Idaho; Boulder, Colorado; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; San Diego, California; Prince George’s County, Maryland, and Vancouver, Canada.  

Members of Incite Focus, Michigan State University Extension, the City of Detroit, and Doers Consulting Alliance merged skills and passions to represent one of the Detroit initiatives, Perrien Park.  As a team, we are fostering a new paradigm for sustainable living within one of the city’s most challenged East side neighborhoods, Perrien Park.

Detroit Future City and EcoWorks partnered with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and The Greening of Detroit, in a second initiative.  Detroit was highly represented at this incubator event and will be watched closely as areas of the city targeted for EcoDistrict development projects move from desolate to dynamic. Elliot Allen, an urban planner and facilitator for the Incubator said, “Portland will be looking to Detroit in the near future for answers.”

Michigan State University Extension team offers educational programs in several leadership areas, including communicating through conflict, volunteer board development, meeting management and facilitation skills development, and organizational strategic visioning and planning.  To contact an expert in your area, visit  or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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