Eco-Cities


The term “Eco-City” in the name Biosphere Eco-City (BEC) refers to a broad movement for sustainable cities. The term was coined in 1987 by architect Richard Register, who is still a leader in this field.

The following describes some of the ways in which BEC fits within the movement.

Eco-City Definition 1

Curitiba Bus Shelters

Curitiba Bus Shelters

Richard Register (founder of EcoCity Movement) Biosphere Eco-City (BEC) Approach
“… designed with consideration of environmental impact, inhabited by people dedicated to minimization of required inputs of energy, water and food, and waste output …”
  • BEC is dedicated to citizen involvement and development of a societal ethic of sustainability that will drive the transformation of an unsustainable city.
  • BEC considers environmental impact and minimizes inputs through themes such as energy, natural capital, food and waste.

Eco-City Definition 2

River, kids, ducks

River, kids, ducks…

Ecocity Builders Biosphere Eco-City (BEC) Approach
“… a subsystem of the ecosystem of which it is part of its watershed, bioregion, and ultimately the planet.”
  • The Biosphere Eco-City includes a significant part of the ecosystem with the rural area around the urban core.
  • If Biosphere Eco-Cities were developed in different countries, they would link the planet’s human activities and ecosystems.

Eco-City Definition 3

Stratford: Urban park

Stratford: Urban park

Virginia Tech Biosphere Eco-City (BEC) Approach
“… places where people can live healthier and economically productive lives while reducing their impact on the environment … (that) integrates vision, citizen initiative, public administration, ecologically efficient industry, people’s needs and aspirations, harmonious culture, and landscapes where nature, agriculture and the built environment are functionally integrated in a healthy way.”
  • BEC promotes quality of life and nature conservation.
  • It involves everyone, promoting effective sustainability initiatives.
  • BEC connects people and organizations, to build on each other’s successes.
  • With government as a stakeholder, BEC complements public planning.
  • Culture is a process for sustainability.
  • BEC integrates nature, agriculture and the built environment through themes such as design, habitat, and food.

The Ottawa BEC Council presented a poster paper at the 2011 Eco-Cities World Summit in Montreal, which was attended by 1000 people.