Communities thrive when the people in them have a stake in their success. Through the Hawthorne Area Civic Ecology project, people across SE Portland have been coming up with ideas for a broad range of socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable projects that they can get up and running with the help of their neighbors, area schools, and local businesses and organizations. HACE is designed to assist businesses, residents, and organizations along Hawthorne Boulevard and in surrounding neighborhoods build community around sustainable and socially constructive projects while also advancing Portland’s global reputation for sustainable economic development. HACE is a partnership between the Hawthorne Boulevard Business Association, area neighborhood associations, Portland State University, and SERA.
Civic Ecology is a framework that seeks to establish community systems approaches to sustainability that empowers citizens, local businesses, local governments, non-profits, and other to design a sustainable future by focusing on creating integrated systems for energy, water, waste management, food production, culture, local economics, local governance, and social capital building. The overarching three- to five-year goal is to distinguish the Hawthorne Boulevard business district and surrounding neighborhood as Best in the city for sustainable practices.
Through a series of workshops and related events, community members have been working to envision a Hawthorne Boulevard district that is the most economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable Main Street in the city of Portland. Success with these projects will help further demonstrate the potential of the area to pursue EcoDistrict-level sustainability strategies.