Founding Member Spotlight: McGuireWoods – Implementing Ecodistrict Visions and Innovating Governance

McGuire Woods logoDistrict-scale revitalization requires a dramatic shift in how businesses, community groups and local government work together, so we’re delighted to have a powerhouse like McGuireWoods LLP and its sister company McGuireWoods Consulting LLC as an EcoDistricts Founding Member. Their lawyers and consultants have deep experience navigating the unique challenges and opportunities of district-scale sustainability projects. They work with clients around the world to create the infrastructure systems for district-scale projects, overcoming the roadblocks to project implementation and setting up the governance structures that will help these districts thrive.

The firm’s ecodistrict team has the experience necessary to help create new utility approaches in energy, water, waste and data. Other teams at McGuireWoods provide the expertise to overcome regulatory and financing hurdles. The ecodistrict team may call on specialty teams ranging from alt-energy financing specialists and water regulatory practitioners to land use or data privacy experts.

As McGuireWoods partner Dan Slone, recently noted, “There couldn’t be a more important time to move the sustainability and resilience discussion beyond the sidewalk, taking everything we have learned about individual building sustainability and applying it at the district level. We are learning how to integrate the social and infrastructure systems, to build walkable, livable ecodistricts, health districts and employment centers. We are proud of our role as a Founding Member of EcoDistricts. This organization will be at the center of one of the most important areas of development in the coming decade.”

FM Blog_McGuireWoods Train Station View
A rendering of Carmel Church Station, a TOD (Transit Oriented Development) that was approved between Washington, DC and Richmond Virginia. McGuireWoods LLP designed the zoning for this 1000 acre project to include the permissions necessary to develop micro grid energy project, water harvesting/reuse community water systems, space for non-profits focusing on social equity and all of the elements of a district-scale development project in this walkable town. center.

McGuireWoods has more than 900 lawyers in 20 offices across the US and overseas. The firm and many of its lawyers have won numerous awards and recognition for their expertise, diversity and client service. The core ecodistricts team includes lawyers with decades of experience with ecodistrict issues as well as former public officials. The firm represents the US Green Building Council, the World Green Building Council, EcoDistricts and other nonprofits related to sustainable and urban development.

The Firm has helped create eco-industrial parks in several states, helped create the infrastructure relationships for dozens of co-gen and combined heat and power facilities and handled the zoning and land use challenges for alternative and traditional utilities. With one of our attorneys serving as a Board member of the Congress for the New Urbanism and on the Board of the Resilient Design Institute, we have worked on the land use codes to create mixed-use communities in many states, many of them with innovative utility approaches. We have helped these communities, eco-industrial parks, business improvement districts and utility districts set up their governance and management structures. Our attorneys have spoken and written about governance issues around the world for decades, including two chapters in the book Eco-Industrial Strategies.

McGuireWoods is currently working with several localities and groups exploring the possibility of ecodistricts around the US. We have previously assisted in the design of an ecodistrict in China and have been part of the leadership team in the creation of the Southwest DC Ecodistrict.

EcoDistricts is proud to have McGuireWoods LLP as a Founding Member, and we appreciate their generous support.