Bold Public-Private Venture Aims to Make Portland ‘Icon of Sustainability’ 

By MICHAEL BURNHAM in the New York Times Green Inc. blog: Westward pioneers halted their wagons here (Portland)  150 years ago, but today’s politicians and planners aim to make recession-battered Portland the starting point for green-economy trailblazers.

Mayor Sam Adams and General Electric Co. executives are forging a first-of-its-kind partnership that will include retrofitting drafty buildings with energy-saving technologies and helping local startups sell their clean-technology products abroad. GE, the global industrial conglomerate, will also help the “Rose City” bring to life five “EcoDistrict” pilot projects — enclaves that would manage their own energy, water, waste and other systems — as well as build, perhaps, the world’s greenest office building.

The Oregon Sustainability Center, slated for construction at the edge of Portland State University’s downtown campus, will generate all of its electricity, consume only the rain that falls upon it, and process all of its wastewater. The “triple-net-zero” building will have offices for businesses with an eye on the triple bottom line — economic, social and environmental sustainability — as well as space for municipal urban planners, nonprofit environmental groups, and university administrators, faculty and students. Read more

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