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Civic Ecology: Tools for the Constructive Idealist

Please note: This event was previously titled: "Destructive Idealism: Empowering Local Community" and has been revised.

"Civic Ecology: Tools for the Constructive Idealist" will begin promptly at 1:15pm.

Civic Ecology is the integrated web of energy, nutrient, resource, financial, information, and cultural flows and interactions that are envisioned, created, and managed by citizens acting for the common good within a geographically-defined community and its city-region. It is a human ecology of place, intimately integrating both natural and social/cultural systems-- the “software” of community.

The Civic Ecology whole systems framework is designed to foster a new social contract that empowers citizens of all ages, cultures, and abilities to participate in the making and ‘ownership’ of their community’s resource flows. Civic Ecology succeeds precisely because it enlists the most knowledgeable and engaged members of the community in devising plans and actions based upon their uniquely intimate understanding of their community’s strengths and resources. It allows communities to enhance their local wealth (environmental, economic, and social), and to take control of designing and managing their future through collaboration among local government, businesses, schools, non-profit and civic groups, religious organizations and sustainability experts. Civic Ecology represents a new paradigm for community-making, a soft systems urban design that goes beyond shallow physical place-making to integrate the deeper life flows that will animate our future ideal places.

This workshop will equip participants with a working understanding of Civic Ecology principles, its benefits and the five-step CIVIC process. Participants will gain exposure to a variety of Civic Ecology projects through brief case studies of real projects that have resulted in implemented projects, often in contentious political environments. Using the Civic Ecology engagement technique, “Community Resource Flow Mapping”, participants will create concepts for resilient community systems in a Portland neighborhood.


Tim Smith, AIA, AICP | Principal Urban Design and Planning | SERA Architects

Keith M. Jones | Director of Business Strategy | Community Design for Amplified by Design Others TBD

This event is organized by students in UO’s Ecological Design Center (The EDC). For the past twenty-four years the EDC has organized the Eugene-based HOPES Ecological Design Conference ( Last year, students of the White Stag Block expanded HOPES to Portland as part of Design Week Portland and wish to organize a series of events in Portland on April 13 as part of the Design Week Portland lineup of events this year. Immediately following, we will host a reception with light refreshments.

This event works in tandem with “Destructive Idealism: Rethinking Resilient Systems”, beginning after the panel discussion and a HOPES Conference lecture by Ronald Rael.

In addition to this event, HOPES has partnered with "What is Technology?" to host the PATTERNS exhibit in the Light Court Commons of the White Stag Block in Portland from April 11 - May 11.

We encourage you to visit each website for more details and other events occurring during each conference this year.


What is Technology?

This Festival Event has ended.


Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 1:00pm to 3:30pm


UO Portland White Stag Block


University of Oregon Ecological Design Center

The student-led Ecological Design Center (EDC) organizes the HOPES Ecological Design Conference - focusing on holistic sustainability.