Growing the Beloved Community: EcoDistricts Joins PSE to Catalyze Equitable Growth

The new year brings some new changes to the Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) and the equity ecosystem. We’re pleased to announce that PSE has acquired EcoDistricts, a highly regarded international nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable and equitable development, to expand PSE’s investment to promote “Just Growth” throughout the American South and beyond. The acquisition was completed on December 1, 2021.

Founded in 2013, EcoDistricts is a multi-disciplinary non-government organization working exclusively at the district and neighborhood level to achieve real impact in equity and sustainability. Over the last eight years, EcoDistricts has built a passionate community of urban development and sustainability professionals dedicated to tackling the growing climate crisis, severe equity divide, and rising distrust between citizens, private developers, and cities. In 2016, EcoDistrictscreated the EcoDistricts Protocol to shape and inspire new models of urban and community development, with over 820 EcoDistricts Accredited Professionals (AP) trained and 21 communities seeking EcoDistricts Certification, including 5 trailblazing projects having achieved full certification in Seattle, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. In all, the organization has convened over 5,000 people and advised 106 project teams from 334 cities and 16 countries since its founding. 

The acquisition will help PSE expand its Just Growth programming and community engagement platform; with a focus of growing a large and diverse ecosystem of stakeholders including community members, industry practitioners, and public policy makers to influence community-scale equity, resiliency, and environmental justice. Over the coming year, PSE, EcoDistricts, and a committee of national experts will work together through an inclusive design and planning process to combine programming, local power building, and fee-for-service consulting opportunities to support a growing number of communities that are looking to integrate equity and sustainability into neighborhood and district-scale redevelopment. 

By bringing EcoDistricts into the PSE village we will strengthen the equity ecosystem in metropolitan Atlanta, the American South, and beyond. EcoDistricts’ vast wealth of knowledge, connections, and data will enhance PSE’s work in the community, bring equitable development to more cities across the region, and center racial equity in the American community development agenda.

More information will become available as our two organizations become one. Please click the button below for our press release. Also, save the date for a powerful conversation on January 26, at 1 p.m., between myself, Rob Bennett of EcoDistricts, and a few of our friends about why this union is so important to the equity movement. Finally, sign up to receive more news about EcoDistricts’ transition into the PSE family. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.

Together we prosper,
Nathaniel Q. Smith, Jr.
Founder and Chief Equity Officer