Mission and Vision
Humanity is running up against the limits of a finite planet. We are experiencing rapid global climate destabilization and the endangerment of entire ecosystems.These life-threatening global environmental problems demand a restructuring of cities, towns, and villages worldwide for long-term energy efficiency and conservation.
Ecocity Builders reshapes cities for the long-term health of human and natural systems.
We develop and implement policy, design and educational tools and strategies to build thriving urban centers based on “access by proximity” and to reverse patterns of sprawl and excessive consumption.
Ecocity Builders and associates’ definition of “ecocity” is conditional upon a healthy relationship of the city’s parts and functions, similar to the relationship of organs in living complex organism. An ecocity is an ecologically healthy city. No such city presently exists. We are concerned with city design, planning, building, and operations in an integral way and in relation to the surrounding environment and natural resources of the region, utilizing organic, ecological and whole-systems lessons to actually reverse the negative impacts of climate change, species extinction and the destruction of the biosphere.
We believe the form of the city matters, that it is within our ability, and indeed crucial, to reshape and restructure cities to address global environmental challenges.
About Ecocity Builders:
Founded in 1992, Ecocity Builders develops and implements policy, design and educational tools and strategies to build thriving urban centers based on “access by proximity” and to reverse patterns of sprawl and excessive consumption.
We are a small 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area with an office in downtown Oakland.
We regularly collaborate with an international network of associates and colleagues plus a number of close advisors, cultivated over the course of more than forty years of consistent work by our founder, Richard Register. Building on our backgrounds, abilities and experiences, Ecocity Builders engages with nonprofits, government leaders, scientists, educators, artists, local activists, businesses, institutions and the general public to promote the development of healthy cities and city systems.
- Our founder, Richard Register, defined and developed the term ‘ecocity’ over 35 years ago— long before ‘green building’ or ‘sustainability’ were even in the vocabulary.
- We have been the keepers of the longest running conference series on the subject— the International Ecocity Conference Series — begun in 1990 in Berkeley and since held in Australia, Senegal, Brazil, China, India, San Francisco and Turkey.
- We initiate projects locally and internationally, and have been consultants locally and globally. Over the years we’ve advised in many countries, including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Brazil, Senegal, South Africa, Turkey, nine countries in Europe, Korea, and Australia.
- Over the years we have built a network of stellar thinkers and practitioners in a wide variety of disciplines, including transportation, energy, architecture, design, natural restoration, development, planning, and advocacy.
- Ecocity Builders is also known for its education and outreach. We regularly provide slide shows and lectures on the ecocity approach, as well as workshops and classes on the topic, in addition to the books written by Richard Register and our numerous newsletters and articles for various media outlets.
- Ecocity Builders is in the process of developing a universal set of Ecocity Standards by which to measure cities’ progress towards sustainability and livability. To create appropriate measures we have partnered with some of the leading researchers, scientists and urban studies institutions in the world. Learn more at the International Ecocity Framework & Standards website.