Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View More

Curbside composting tip: The green Portland Composts! roll cart wants your jack-o-lanterns!

Remember to compost your holiday pumpkins and gourds, along with all food scraps and yard and garden waste

Include pumpkins!After celebrating autumn holidays, remember to compost pumpkins and gourds. Remove candles from jack-o-lanterns and toss them in the green composting roll cart. This is also the time of year to include food scraps like apple and pear cores and leftover or half-eaten candy (without wrappers).

Are you busy in the yard prepping for the change in weather? Gardening and pruning items, along with tree fruit, go in the green Portland Composts! roll cart too.

Watch the weight! Don’t forget there are roll cart weight limits, especially with heavy pumpkins and wet leaves. The 60-gallon green composting roll carts have a 135-pound limit.

Visit Portland Composts! for a detailed list of what goes in the green composting roll cart.

Need help remembering garbage day?
Sign up for free email reminders at www.garbagedayreminders.com.

Have a question for our Curbside Hotline Operator?
Submit your question online or call 503-823-7202.

Comprehensive Plan Update public hearings begin

Many more opportunities to testify ahead; written comments accepted until March 13

The public process is in full swing on the Comprehensive Plan Update. Now that the Proposed Draft is in front of the Planning and Sustainability Commission, Portlanders can give their feedback directly to the 11-member advisory commission in person or in writing.

Several public hearings in multiple locations have been scheduled from September through the spring of 2015. As Commission Chair André Baugh reiterated at the October 14 hearing at Parkrose High School, “We really want to hear from all of Portland. The PSC is here to listen to the community’s feedback.” To that end, announced Baugh, the written comment period for the goals, policies and land use map will remain open until March 13.

Comments to date

The PSC has received nearly 1,200 comments — the majority via the Map App, but also many by letters and emails. More than 50 people gave oral testimony at the first hearing on September 23; another 35 testified on October 14. The next public hearing will be on Tuesday, October 28 at PCC SE Campus.

The largest number of comments have been about centers and corridors map changes, transportation projects in the Transportation Systems Plan, and new residential designations. On the policy side, the environment and economic policies have attracted the most interest.

Parts of the plan

The Comprehensive Plan includes proposed land use maps, policies, project lists and a supporting document — the Citywide Systems Plan. An Urban Design Direction report serves as an illustrated guide to some of the urban design and urban form policies.

The Comprehensive Plan Map covers all of Portland and some not-annexed areas within Portland’s urban services boundary. Said Project Manager Eric Engstrom at the Parkrose hearing, “Our proposal is to leave much of the existing Comp Plan Map as it is today. The proposed map shows the areas that would change — only about 14 percent of the City’s land area.”

The first of several work sessions is scheduled for November 18. At these meetings, the commissioners will discuss what they’ve heard and deliberate over key issues. The work sessions are open to the public, but no testimony will be taken. Visit the PSC calendar for details and information about which topics will be discussed.

Remaining public hearings

Two more public hearings on the goals, policies and land use map will occur in 2014.

October 28, 2014 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Portland Community College – SE Campus, Community Hall
2305 82nd Avenue

November 4, 2014 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A

More hearings are scheduled for 2015. In February there will be a hearing on the Transportation System Plan. In early spring the commission will evaluate how well the new long range plan meets Portland Plan goals and verify conformance with state economic planning requirements.

The public will have an opportunity to testify on these topics at public hearings in April. Updates to the 2013 Growth Scenarios Report and Economic Opportunities Analysis will be available in early 2015, prior to these hearings. Check the project website and PSC calendar for more information.

Tentatively, the final PSC work session and vote to recommend the plan to City Council will be in May 2015. After that, Council will hold additional public hearings prior to a summer vote on the entire Comprehensive Plan Update.

For more information about the Comprehensive Plan Proposed Draft, please visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/pdxcompplan.  

Portland prepares for a changing climate

Newly adopted Climate Change Preparation Strategy establishes an action plan to build climate resilience into Portland’s and Multnomah County’s policies, operations, services and infrastructure over the coming years.

Whether you realize it or not, you are taking action to prepare for climate change every day. When you recycle, leave your car at home, clean the gutters for that impending winter storm or empty standing water to limit mosquito breeding — you are taking small steps to prepare. And at a much broader level, Portland City Council unanimously adopted the Climate Change Preparation Strategy and associated Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment in early October. This strategy identifies how climate change will affect our region and what actions are needed to protect communities.

“Preparing our community for the impacts of a changing climate is simply good, responsible management,” said Mayor Charlie Hales, City of Portland. “We’re fortunate that Portland doesn’t face the same scale of threats that many coastal cities must deal with, but we do expect real impacts and take them seriously. At the same time, reducing carbon emissions remains a crucial component of Portland’s climate work.”

The strategy and background report explore the impacts of climate change on various sectors, including people, infrastructure, and natural systems likes rivers and wetlands. Potential impacts to food production, climate migrants, energy systems and the economy are also briefly explored in the strategy.

Portland’s climate future is expected to be characterized by warmer winters with heavier rainstorms and hotter, drier summers with an increased frequency of high-heat days. The strategy identifies five distinct risks:

Hotter, drier summers with more high-heat days

Risk 1: Increased temperatures (both and day night) and frequency of high-heat days.

Risk 2: Increased frequency of drought.

Risk 3: Increased wildfire frequency and intensity.

Warmer winters with the potential for more intense rain events

Risk 4: Increased frequency and magnitude of damaging floods.

Risk 5: Increased landslides.

Climate change will affect our most vulnerable communities

“This plan is about fairness,” said Chair Deborah Kafoury. “People who are going to be most vulnerable to the heat are older adults, our homeless population, people of color and low-income community members who don’t have the means to adapt or get out of town. Multnomah County is committed to helping prepare this community to protect their health.”

Where possible, the strategy recommends prioritizing preparation actions in communities such as low-income populations and communities of color where people face current and historical disparities that may be exacerbated by climate change impacts, particularly increased temperatures, poor air quality and flooding.

Carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and from land use changes, including deforestation, are the primary drivers of the climate change we are experiencing today and expect to see in the future. Reducing carbon emissions remains a crucial component of climate change preparation work.

Developed by the City of Portland and Multnomah County, the strategy and background report were informed by advisors from the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, Oregon Department of Geology & Mineral Industries and the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Next steps

To implement the Climate Change Preparation Strategy, City and County staff will build on existing efforts to reduce risks from climate change impacts through implementation, capacity building, research, monitoring and evaluation.

The strategy and assessment are linked to the City of Portland and Multnomah County Climate Action Plan, which integrates City and County work to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change while also preparing for the impacts that we will experience. Portland and Multnomah County are currently in the process of updating the Climate Action Plan, the first version of which was adopted in 1993. 

BPS will soon release the updated Climate Action Plan for public comment, and staff will integrate the main recommendations from the Climate Change Preparation Strategy.

Visit Portland’s Climate Action website to learn more about the Climate Action Plan update project and other related climate efforts.

BPS assists community orchard group in Lents neighborhood

Friends of Malden Court Community Orchard invites public to community design meeting towards a more healthy connected neighborhood.

A vacant lot overrun with invasive blackberries in the Lents neighborhood — considered a neighborhood eyesore — will soon be transformed into a
community orchard and gathering place. The Friends of Malden Court Community Orchard neighborhood group is about to involve neighborhood residents in the next steps of placemaking: design meetings. The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) have provided financial support through a Community Watershed Stewardship Grant and project planning and siting support.

“The one-third acre site was identified in the 2005 Diggable City project that created an inventory of surplus city properties with potential for growing food and providing a community benefit,” explained Steve Cohen, Sustainable Food program manager at BPS. “It took awhile to figure out the best use for the land, identify neighborhood partners, and secure the non-profit Green Lents, who will act as the fiscal agent. We are so lucky to work with such a dedicated group of volunteers.”

Green Lents will lease the land from the City of Portland on behalf of the Malden Court Community Orchard project. The Lents property was acquired by the City in August 1992 from Multnomah County Tax Title to be used for the public good in service of the programs and goals of the Bureau of Environmental Services.

From permaculture to fruit tree varieties to interpretive signage, all site ideas will emerge from community meetings

The community orchard will be located on Malden Court where SE 87th Avenue meets the Springwater Corridor, but design meetings will be held at the following locations at the following dates and times:

Saturday, November 15 | 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
St. Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Church ( 7715 SE 92ND Ave.)

Wednesday, November 19 | 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m
Kelly Elementary School Cafeteria (9030 SE Cooper St)

Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

  • For more information about the design meetings, contact April Jamison, orchard@greenlents.org or (971) 266-4196.
  • Follow the project on the web at: http://www.greenlents.org/community-orchard/
  • For more information about how the City of Portland has participated in this project, contact Steve Cohen at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, 503-823-4225. 

Business and public leaders build Oregon’s future at GoGreen 2014

Oregon Climate Declaration collected signatures to support climate action, equity panel received standing ovation.

The 2014 GoGreen conference brought together private and public sector leaders to discuss how to build a socially sustainable community. Topics discussed included social equity advocacy, the development of new economic models, competitive city strategies, behavioral change, new innovations and corporate responsibility. The City of Portland, together with Metro and Multnomah County, were presenting sponsors of the conference.

Eve Callahan with Umpqua Bank, Tom Kelly of Neil Kelly and Jonathan Nicholas, VP of Moda Health kicked off the conference, which took place October 16 at the Oregon Convention Center. These innovators shared how taking climate action is increasing demand for their products and services, attracting talent and managing risk. 

All three organizations have signed the Oregon Climate Declaration – a call to action from leading American businesses, urging the public, policymakers and business leaders to seize the economic opportunity in tackling climate change. Over 20 companies signed the declaration on Thursday, and dozens more attendees participated in a photo booth, standing for climate action.

Mayor Hales cites report from Coalitions of Communities of Color in keynote address

In his keynote, Mayor Hales stressed that economic and environmental advances cannot be made without making strides in equity. Mayor Hales cited a report from Coalitions of Communities of Color, which shows that people of color fair worse in Portland than their counterparts in other cities, while whites fare much better than their counterparts. Addressing this dichotomy is at the heart of being a successful and sustainable city.

The Mayor joined Rick Cole, Deputy Mayor for Budget & Innovation, City of Los Angeles, SaraHope Smith, Placemaking Director for City Repair Project and PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions Director Jennifer Allen in “Smart Strategies for Enhancing and Engaging a Vision for Competitive Cities.” The session explored how new technologies and innovation can foster a vibrant, functional, livable and modern society of sustainable growth.

Go Green Equity Panel

A very special session, “What's Next? The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations” explored the history of tension between green activism and racial justice and the many attempts at reconcilement. Panelists included Alan Hipolito, Executive Director of Verde, Rashad Morris, Program Officer of Bullitt Foundation, Dr. Emily Drew, Associate Professor of Sociology and Ethnic Studies at Willamette University, Mychal Tetteh, CEO, Community Cycling Center and Desiree Williams-Rajee, Equity Specialist at Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, City of Portland. Organizations that innovate, grow and prosper will be those that understand the needs of communities of color, understand the impact of their work on these communities, engage these communities, and reflect these communities in their leadership.

How does this happen? “We need to get over our fear of the R-word,” says Williams-Rajee, “By addressing institutional racism – the systemic interaction of policies and programs designed to not benefit people of color – we can begin to live into our rich potential as a diverse society. This is both a professional competency and a performance measure…that’s a lesson in change we’ve had the benefit of learning from the sustainability movement.”

“These leaders presented such a clear and compelling case for the environmental community to place equity to the forefront of our initiatives,” said Megan Shuler, Sustainability at Work Program Manager.  “It was phenomenal to be in the room with businesses we’ve served and several of our partner programs who were on their feet with a standing ovation. What a powerful platform we now have to advance this important work.”