Portland, Oregon and General Electric announced this afternoon they were signing a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to consider co-developing green technologies, businesses and eco-districts, particularly around energy efficiency, power generation and job creation.
Portland Mayor San Adams said in a Portland City Hall ceremony, “The signing of today’s MoU is a milestone in our efforts to move forward aggressively on our city’s economic development strategy and our climate action plan. I’m proud to bring Portland and GE together to benefit local entrepreneurs and innovators.”
According to the MoU and an associated press release, GE will partner with Portland to:
Engage with local companies to help them develop and expand into new markets
via global product licensing;
Implement residential and commercial energy efficiency retrofits,
and develop neighborhood “Ecodistricts” throughout the city;
Explore city finance needs via municipal, state and GE resources.
The Pacific Northwestern city has been a US sustainability leader in everything from regional green building and light rail development, to renewable energy implementation and farmers markets. Mayor Sam Adams announced the agreement today in a city hall ceremony: “It is an opportunity to take Portland products and services and sell them all over the country and around the world.”
The agreement states that both Portland and GE will inform one another of new products, services, technological developments and business opportunities related to sustainability.
Sustainable urban planning leader Portland State University might also benefit from attention surrounding the agreement with its planned Oregon Sustainability Center research and development supporting related practices, policy and education.
Other US cities attempting to develop sustainability “eco-districts” include San Francisco, which announced a Civic Center district sharing renewable energy generation and project development, and Seattle.
Vancouver, British Columbia, is also investigating new green economic development initiatives. (Portland Mayor Sam Adams visited Vancouver last fall for series of appearances and meetings when Vancouver announced it had aims of becoming the “greenest city in the world.”)
Meanwhile, General Electric, which has long-running marketing program called “Eco-Imagination,” has invested $50 million in a new sustainability R&D center called Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, with the GE focus of the planned 50,000 population center concentrated in smart grid appliance development.
Warren Karlenzig is president of Common Current, an internationally
active urban sustainability strategy consultancy. He is author of How Green is Your City? The
SustainLane US City Rankings and a Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute.