Eco-City Studio

What is an Eco-City?

Eco-Cities are places where people can live healthier and economically productive lives while reducing their impact on the environment. They work to harmonize existing policies, regional realities, and economic and business markets with their natural resources and environmental assets. Eco-Cities strive to engage all citizens in collaborative and transparent decision making, while being mindful of social equity concerns.

For more information, see About Eco-City Studio and Eco-City Movement.

What is Sustainability?

As a general concept, sustainability is progress that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

More specifically, sustainability is equally a policy framework and a process that offers a new way of harmonizing economic, environmental and quality of life principles and goals.

Sustainability is also a constantly evolving journey that institutions and individuals will take at different speeds and adapt in different ways. The challenge for most communities is devising a common path and identifying the critical milestones along the way.

Eco-City Studio

Through Virginia Tech’s Department of Urban Affairs and Planning (Alexandria Center) the Eco-City Studio works with municipalities, nonprofits, and community organizations to design and develop strategic sustainability charters, strategic action plans, and city-wide initiatives.

For more information about the Eco-City Studio and how it can help shape your sustainability initiatives, please contact Professor Joseph Schilling ( or 703-706-8102).


Eco-City Alexandria is a strategic collaborative planning process designed by the City of Alexandria in partnership with Virginia Tech’s Department of Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) in order to create an Eco-City Charter and Environmental Action Plan that will guide Alexandria toward sustainability.

The Environmental Action Plan 2030 (EAP)will serve as the road map for city leaders, staff, and citizens to implement the sustainability visions and principles set forth in Alexandria’s Eco-City Charter(adopted by City Council on June 14, 2008).  It explains how Alexandria can lead the new green economy, address the challenges of climate change, and continue its high quality of life while decreasing the city’s carbon and ecological footprints.


EAP 2030 Adopted

The Alexandria City Council unanimously approved the Eco-City Alexandria Action Plan 2030 at the legislative meeting held Tuesday, June 23

EAP Cover Letter to Council

Environmental Action Plan



hands with plant

Eco-City Web sites

Links to Documents


Eco-City Alexandria was selected to receive the 2009 VSBN Green Innovation Award for Most Sustainable Community Project. The awards were presented at the University of Virginia's 14th Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 25, 2009 in Charlottesville, VA