About ADE
“There's always been a really strong connection between environmental quality and economic development in our practice. That goes way back. We feel strongly that economic development needs to support environmental and community quality. It's why I got into this business.”
— Doug Svensson,
ADE President

About ADE

We've been green from the get-go.

As far back as our founding in 1985, sustainability has been at the heart of our business.

ADE has been a pioneer in exploring the economic development opportunities that emerge from improving environmental quality. In fact, it was ADE that conducted the first comprehensive socio-economic study of a major regional air quality plan in California. And ADE was responsible for one of the first cluster studies identifying and mapping the environmental technology industry.

Our foundation: Economy, Environment, Equity

Our values haven't changed much from our founding more than 25 years ago by a group of planners and economists from the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. We still believe it's the interplay of the “3 E's”—the economy, the environment and equity— that makes thriving, sustainable communities possible. And it's why clients choose ADE to help keep them competitive in a fast-changing world.

Our ability to help transition communities to a new economy is borne from our depth of experience and the specialized techniques we've developed to identify opportunities that meet the standards for the 3 E's.

What sustainable prosperity means to us

We believe in using resources wisely so that future generations have access to the resources they need, including those that are essential to health and quality of life, like clean air and water, open space and recreational amenities. It's what sustainability is all about.

True prosperity exists when there is access to economic opportunities for an entire population. Much of ADE's focus is on assessing the livability of wage structures and spotlighting businesses and industries that provide living wages for workers and pathways for workers to build skills.

Our knowledge of emerging fields like clean energy, broadband, regional food systems and other bright spots in the green economy means we are poised to help clients and communities achieve sustainable prosperity.

ADE: A Brief History

1985
ADE is founded in Berkeley, California
1987
Doug Svensson joins ADE, becoming vice president the following year
1991
ADE merges with Sacramento-based Economic Development Services
2005
ADE's Berkeley office relocates to Walnut Creek
2010
ADE celebrates 25 years in business