EcoDistricts Research Forum
Tuesday, October 16
Coffman Memorial Union
300 Washington Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN
THIS SUSTAINABLE EVENT IS SPONSORED & SUPPORTED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
The EcoDistricts Summit will be held in Minneapolis-St. Paul on October 17 and 18. To kick off the Summit, the University of Minnesota is organizing the EcoDistricts Research Forum. The forum is a gathering of academics, policymakers, real estate and community developers, business leaders, planners, and community leaders working on district-scale sustainability. Participants will engage in a facilitated discussion and interchange of ideas designed to help shape the evolving research on sustainable district-scale development.
Join us on Tuesday. Together, we will craft a research agenda to tackle the challenges and identify approaches that will lead to innovative solutions that accelerate just, sustainable and resilient neighborhoods.
The Research Forum will include:
—Overview of University Research Applied to EcoDistrict Issues
—A Deeper Dive into EcoDistrict Priorities (with Regional Examples)
—Ideas for EcoDistrict Research and Application in the Future
The cost to attend the Research Forum is $25.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased separately through the Summit registration page.
MORNING RECEPTION AND REGISTRATION
NATIVE AMERICAN GREETING
WELCOME FROM CAROL STROHECKER, DEAN – COLLEGE OF DESIGN
JESSICA HELLMANN, DIRECTOR – INSTITUTE ON THE ENVIRONMENT
The Research Forum will begin with an overview of the EcoDistricts Protocol. The Protocol is designed to assist communities in ensuring Equity, Resilience, and Climate Protection at the district scale. It is being successfully applied in many cities throughout the country. We will share insights on what's working, as well as the challenges that have commonly emerged in its application. Attendees will emerge with a clear idea on how they may engage in applying and strengthening the Protocol from a research perspective.
OVERVIEW OF UNIVERSITY RESEARCH APPLIED TO ECODISTRICTS ISSUES
This panel will provide an overview of UMN research pertaining to EcoDistricts imperatives — Equity, Resilience, and Climate Protection — applied at a range of scales. Several Directors and Faculty members from selected University programs and Centers will briefly describe their work.
- Tom Fisher, Minnesota Design Center (MDC)
- Sabine Engel, Climate Smart Municipalities, IonE
- Anu Ramaswami, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
- Makeda Zulu-Gillespie, Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC)
- Richard Graves, Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR)
LUNCH AND DISCUSSION
DEEPER DIVE INTO ECODISTRICTS PRIORITIES – BREAKOUT SESSIONS
During this time period, four breakout sessions will run concurrently addressing EcoDistricts topics. Each of the four panels will include researchers and other project participants involved in EcoDistrict-type projects across Minnesota. These include Towerside, Ford Site, Rochester DMC, Rice Creek Commons, and others. The breakouts will include brief presentations and then follow-up discussion focused on identifying key research opportunities and barriers.
Panel 2A: Resource Regeneration (Energy)
- Richard Graves, Center for Sustainable Building Research
- Michael Ahern, Evergreen Energy
- Kevin Bright, Rochester Destination Medical Center
- Josh Olson, Rice Creek Commons
- Jamez Staples, Renewable Energy Partners
Panel 2B: Living Infrastructure
- Bruce Jacobson, MDC and Towerside Innovation District
- Beth Engum, Rice Creek Commons
- Mike Richardson, Ford Site
- Mark Doneaux, Cap Region Watershed District
- Jerry Zhao, Humphrey School
Panel 2C: Health and Wellbeing
- Michael Huber, Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Tracy Twine, CFANS Soil, Water & Climate
- Jess Roberts, Minnesota Design Center
- Sam Rockwell, University of Minnesota (UMFREA)
Panel 2D: Engagement and Equity
- Virajita Singh, Office of Diversity and Equity, and CSBR
- Stephen Klimek, Towerside Innovation District
- Makeda Zulu-Gillespie, Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center
- Dan Handeen, CSBR
IDEAS FOR ECODISTRICTS RESEARCH AND APPLICATION
This session will involve audience participation to address these questions
- What research questions need to be addressed for EcoDistricts to thrive in Minnesota?
- What policies need to be in place to facilitate this work?
- What potential opportunities exist for EcoDistricts scale research at the University of