The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has established a new partnership with US-based EcoDistricts to accelerate district-scale development in Australia.

Both organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding outlining their intent to explore joint research opportunities, collaborate on industry education programs, and share information on best practice.

“We are excited to be collaborating with EcoDistricts to create the communities of the future – communities that are resilient, vibrant, equitable, and resource-efficient,” says GBCA chief executive, Romilly Madew.

“We’re committed to working together to provide city governments, planners, designers and developers with a complementary set of tools that establish effective best practice benchmarks and a framework for implemention.”

The EcoDistricts Framework is a process management tool that helps cities and urban development practitioners work together to assess district potential, and deliver integrated sustainability strategies that deliver green buildings, infrastructure and communities.

It has synergies with the Green Star – Communities rating tool, which is an independent national tool developed to support the design and delivery of more sustainable, productive, resilient and livable communities.

In Australia, the Green Star – Communities rating tool will set best practice benchmarks for project teams, while the EcoDistricts program uses a four-step framework to help them reach those benchmarks.

“We are delighted to be partnering with the GBCA, as we can bring district and neighbourhood-focused resources to the GBCA’s members and partners, assisting the many large-scale development projects underway in Australia,” says Rob Bennett, CEO of EcoDistricts.

The GBCA joins other organisations such as the US and Canadian Green Building Councils, Google, Arup and the Integral Group as founding members of the EcoDistricts movement.