Interview with James McNeil of the Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict
I know, I know. We do hear our share of gloomy stories and reports on this show. It unfortunately is the nature of the beast on an environment program when many of the world’s environmental trends are pointing downwards. However, there are many inspiring people and organizations doing great work to try to turn things around and help to forge a less destructive, more sane and sustainable world.
You may have heard rumblings lately about a bioregional sustainability movement that is blossoming across North America and Europe. These so-called ecodistricts specialize in fostering sustainable behavior change and are inspired by what is called One Planet Living, which is an inspiring, positive vision of a sustainable world where we live a higher quality of life within the natural limits of the planet. Well now this vision has come to Ottawa in the form of the Ottawa Centre Eco-District, an initiative to accelerate neighbourhood-scale sustainability in the downtown core. Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with James McNeil who leads the Ottawa Green Real Estate Practice group and is the self-described “catalyst” of the Ottawa Centre Eco-District. We talked about this exciting, new initiative in Ottawa Centre: how it started, what they hope to achieve and why “eco-districts” seem to be springing up all over North America and beyond.