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Airport Futures takes off

BPS E-News Issue 11

On April 13, 2011, at 2 p.m., the Portland City Council will vote to adopt the Airport Futures Plan. Airport Futures was a collaborative effort between the City and Port of Portland, and the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan community to create an integrated, long-range development plan for the airport and the surrounding area.

The Airport Futures plan Council will take a new approach to protecting and enhancing natural resources in and around the airport. Instead of traditional regulation, the plan calls for the Port to mitigate for impacts to wildlife habitat by improving 300 acres of grassland on Government Island in advance of development. The Port also made a strong commitment to the overall enhancement of the Columbia Slough by pledging $1.8 million in tree planting and slough enhancement projects over the next 25 years.

Airport Futures received the unanimous endorsement of the 30-member planning advisory group and the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission. A joint hearing on the plan was held before both the Portland City Council and Port of Portland Commission on March 16. After testimony by 15 advisory group members and several community members, Port Executive Director Bill Wyatt, Mayor Sam Adams, City Council and the Port Commission praised the open and transparent planning process and expressed appreciation for the incredible work of the advisory group members, staff and project consultants.

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Susan Anderson and Port Aviation Director Steve Schreiber emphasized that, “… this is not an end, but a beginning …” for the implementation of the Airport Futures commitments as well as the creation of an ongoing PDX Community Advisory Committee this fall.  

The three-year planning process was guided by a 30-member planning advisory group with input from airport stakeholders. The process included 87 planning advisory group and subcommittee meetings and over 131 stakeholder meetings. The ongoing committee is being sponsored by the Cities of Portland and Vancouver and the Port of Portland.

 

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Clean Energy Works Portland Pilot announces success, launches expansion

BPS E-News Issue 11

The City of Portland and newly formed nonprofit Clean Energy Works Oregon recently announced the successful completion of the Clean Energy Works Portland home energy efficiency retrofit pilot and the expansion of the program statewide. As of March 2011, the pilot, led by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, accomplished its goals and more:

  • Five hundred homes were enrolled in the program and received an energy assessment, low-interest loan for energy upgrades, a personal Energy Advisor and connection to qualified construction professionals.
  • The program created 29 entry-level jobs in the hard-hit construction industry.
  • 381 workers received paychecks who otherwise may not have had work.
  • Participating homes experienced on average a 20 percent or greater reduction in energy consumption after their project was complete.


“Today, the City of Portland celebrates the early success of the Clean Energy Works Portland pilot and welcomes the new Clean Energy Works Oregon,” said Portland Mayor Sam Adams. “While our Bureau of Planning and Sustainability led the way, we are grateful for the innovative collaboration from our many community partners, including Energy Trust of Oregon, Enterprise Cascadia, NW Natural, Pacific Power, PGE, Worksystems, Green for All and our host of stakeholders, including contractors, unions and community groups.”

View a video of the recent CEWO launch event here: http://vimeo.com/21452335

Clean Energy Works Oregon expands services across Oregon in 2011

Due to the success of the pilot, in June of 2010 the U.S. Department of Energy invested an additional $20 million dollars from its BetterBuildings program to fund the expansion of the program across Oregon. The statewide program, which simplifies the process of transforming older houses into energy-efficient comfortable homes, will be administered by Clean Energy Works Oregon.

“Clean Energy Works Oregon makes home energy efficiency affordable and easy,” said Derek Smith, CEO of Clean Energy Works Oregon. “As communities look to economic development through climate action, Clean Energy Works offers a proven, turnkey service that produces jobs, energy savings, carbon reductions and housing affordability.”

The expansion is expected to bring $100 million in private capital to communities throughout the state. The three-year goals of the expansion are to complete 6,000 residential projects, create 1,300 family-supporting jobs and generate significant energy savings.

The expanded program launched on March 15 to homeowners in the Metro area, including Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties and the cities of Portland, Lake Oswego and Gresham.  They are planning a phased rollout to the Rogue Valley, Eugene/Lane County, Hood River, Astoria, Klamath Falls, Coos County, Pendleton, Bend/Deschutes County, Corvallis and Salem throughout 2011.

To apply for Clean Energy Works Oregon, visit www.cewo.org.

Specials Savings for Homes in Lents and Interstate

Homeowners in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties can benefit from initial special rebate offerings totaling up to $3,700. For a limited time, homeowners living in the Lents or Interstate Urban Renewal Areas can save an additional $1,000 off their project cost. For more information visit: www.cleanenergyworksoregon.org/neighborhood

 

 

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Portland Plan promotes business resiliency through Economic Prosperity and Affordability strategy

BPS E-News Issue 11

Throughout the process of developing the Portland Plan, the city’s 25-year plan for growth and development, Portlanders have said that one of their top priorities is a robust economy and living wage jobs. The Portland Plan Economic Prosperity and Affordability Strategy presents a smart response to the complex challenges facing Portland.

Many Portlanders are out of work and struggle to make ends meet. The reasons for this are complex. Regional job growth has not been fast enough to bring down Multnomah County unemployment rates, and average wages and salaries in Multnomah County have not kept up with the rising cost of living over the last decade.

The Economic Prosperity and Affordability strategy focuses on business growth, a robust regional economy and individual prosperity. It draws on a broad range of implementation tools and partners in business development, urban innovation, land development, transportation, housing, education and training, and social supports, which collectively broaden local business opportunity and prosperity. Recognizing the connection between an educated workforce and a robust economy, for example, the strategy would pursue connections between higher education and firms in target industries to help solve technical challenges facing industry and transform innovations within school walls into commercially viable and valuable products.

The strategy identifies a series of “quick-start” actions that focus on traded sector job growth, urban innovation, trade gateway and freight mobility, and growing employment districts. One of these actions “… focus[es] business development resources on enhancing [the] competitiveness of businesses in five industry concentrations: Advanced Manufacturing, Athletic and Outdoor, Clean Tech, Software, and Research and Commercialization.” It also includes actions that address affordability, expanding opportunities for households that are currently unable to cover costs for basic needs. Another action would facilitate private investment in moderate-income housing to expand affordable housing options.

Based on thousands of public comments, expert counsel and extensive research, these focus areas and actions promise to be the most effective in achieving our goal of a thriving and prosperous city, with opportunity for all.

The Portland Plan team and its business partners are working together to make this strategy as strong and effective as possible. On April 29 (7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.), the Portland Plan team will be hosting a business forum at the NW Natural Building to solicit more feedback on the Economic Prosperity and Affordability strategy, in particular, as well as the other Portland Plan strategies and an Equity Initiative. As in the past, we’ll be soliciting feedback from the business community to refine the strategies and ensure that they will help Portland businesses survive and thrive into the future.

For more information about the Portland Plan Business Forum, please contact Barry Manning: 503-823-7965 or barry.manning@portlandoregon.gov.

Portland Plan Business Forum
Friday, April 29, 2011
7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
NW Natural Building
220 NW 2nd Ave.

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BEST Business Center helps businesses be sustainable and successful

BPS E-News Issue 11

Want to green your business but don’t know where to start? Portland business leaders in search of more sustainable practices are teaming up with the BEST Business Center, a "one-stop shop" for local businesses that want to become greener and more profitable.  


BEST provides businesses with a free evaluation of their operations in the areas of energy, water, waste, purchasing, green building and transportation. From there, businesses receive customized recommendations, assistance from a Sustainability Advisor, and access to financial incentives, free tools and resources. 

 
 The BEST Business Center is a partnership of city and regional government programs and energy utilities, including the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, City of Portland Water Bureau, City of Portland Bureau of Transportation, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Metro, Pacific Power, Portland Development Commission and Portland General Electric.


To access free tools and advice to help boost your company’s sustainability and profit, check out www.bestbusinesscenter.org.

Portland Plan Fairs unveil draft strategies for Portland’s future

BPS E-News Issue 11

The month of March ushered in several Portland Plan Fairs around the city, family-friendly events where Portlanders learned about draft strategies for Portland’s future. Participants were invited to comment on strategies for education, economic prosperity and affordability, and healthy connected neighborhoods, as well as an equity initiative.  

In addition, local food, music and dance made each of the four Portland Plan Fairs unique. An armadillo and yo-yo champion were the stars at the Oregon Zoo fair. Samosas and an all-girl indie folk band were featured in East Portland. And bilingual staff and interpreters were on hand in North Portland for a Latino-focused event, complete with an El Rey (KYRP-FM) station appearance.

The fairs drew hundreds of people, who provided essential feedback on the draft strategies while enjoying food, entertainment provided by Colored Pencils Art & Culture [http://www.coloredpencilsart.com/], and the company of their friends and neighbors.  

What's next in the Portland Plan process? The City will take the feedback gathered from the surveys, fairs and other community meetings and write a draft Plan by early summer. The draft Plan will then be open for comment. The draft Plan will head to the Planning and Sustainability Commission in the fall, and be presented to the Portland City Council by the end of the calendar year.

The Portland Plan will drive public decisions and investments as the city grows and changes over the next 25 years. With its partner agencies, the City will use the Portland Plan as a strategic plan to ensure that Portland is a prosperous and healthy city, with opportunity for all. Addressing jobs, education, health, housing, transportation and equity and more, the Portland Plan will affect something important to everyone in the community.

Add your thoughts by May 1st

Don’t miss one of the last opportunities to share your perspective on the ambitious strategies for Portland’s future, before the draft plan is published this summer. Make sure your voice is part of the plan by filling out our survey before May 1 at www.pdxplan.com.

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