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BPS E-News Issue 10
Every December, BPS staff look forward to our annual silent auction to benefit a local charity. This year, we raised over $2,500 for the Oregon Food Bank from BPS staff who donated gift items, food, services, a vacation home and boat rentals to a great cause.
Special thanks to the following volunteers: Liza Mickle, Valerie Garrett, Lindsey Maser, Bob Glascock, Joan Frederiksen, Kim White, Sallie Edmunds and Debbie Bischoff.
BPS E-News Issue 10
Do you have a new or remodeled home (funky, traditional, high tech, historic – we like it all) with green features you’d like to have considered for the Tenth Annual Build It Green! Home Tour? This tour is Saturday, September 24th.
Send an e-mail with your contact info to Valerie Garrett, tour coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an online nomination form when they are available mid-March.
BPS E-News Issue 10
Old buildings are rich, working reminders of the past that shaped us and also provide unique opportunities for innovative preservation and retrofit. We can preserve our region’s architectural heritage by adapting and rehabilitating for today’s needs and future uses. Looking through lenses of sustainability, reuse, conservation and historic preservation we find ways of conserving precious resources, preserving our buildings and job creation and retention.
Living wage construction preservation jobs require training and skills and cannot be outsourced. These job types include deconstruction, restoration, salvage, period reproduction, manufacturing and adaptive reuse as well as the trades like carpentry, plumbing and weatherization.
Historic homes and commercial structures were often built with materials and detailing that is not economically feasible today, or the construction skills have now been lost. Building materials include old growth fir, cast iron storefronts, terracotta façade detailing, massive solid wood beams, and wavy window glass. Respecting and celebrating these materials and craftsmanship ensures diverse streetscapes, creates living architectural laboratories and community livability.
Embodied energy is the total of all the energy required to grow, harvest, extract, manufacture, refine, process, package, transport, install and dispose of a product or building material. When a building is demolished with no plans for reclamation, this energy that was paid for by past generations is lost. Reusing an existing building or its components, having a recycling plan in place and educating sub-contractors on the jobsite to recycle and minimize waste all contribute to a high waste reduction and reuse goal.
Portland is home to several commercial buildings that have been adapted and restored and now garnering high office and event space rents: Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center, Mercy Corps Global Headquarters, The LeftBank Project, Gerding Theater at the Armory, Morgan Building and White Stag Block.
Healthy, connected neighborhoods, also known as “twenty-minute neighborhoods,” aim for compact communities where amenities like schools, places of worship and retail are located within a walking, biking or wheelchair distance of twenty minutes. It is a component of smart growth. Older neighborhoods developed before the popularity of automobiles have diversity and density from varied small local business and community uses. Retail storefronts in low-scale buildings are interwoven alongside homes, apartments, schools and libraries. Some old Portland neighborhoods featuring compact development include Hawthorne-Belmont, Alberta Arts, St. Johns, Kenton, Multnomah Village and North Mississippi Avenue.
Visit the Regional Green Building Hotline’s new Sustainable Preservation page at www.portlandonline.com/bps/historicreuse
The Regional Green Building Hotline provides comprehensive green building resources and technical info for Metro region and is sponsored by the following partners: Metro, Multnomah County, Clackamas County, Washington County and the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Call 503-823-5431 or visit www.buildgreen411.com for free assistance with your questions about green building.
BPS E-News Issue 10
It’s no secret that Portlanders love their food. Whether from a farmers market, a community or backyard garden, one of the many established or innovative new restaurants, a neighborhood grocery store or a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm, we have many opportunities to enjoy the bounty of our region. This fertile environment for producing and sharing food has raised some questions about the zoning code and whether it still serves the interests and values of the community.
The Urban Food Zoning Code Update is the City of Portland’s first comprehensive look at how zoning code regulations affect traditional and emerging ways of producing and distributing food. Through a dynamic community discussion, this project will establish zoning code regulations that support Portlanders’ access to healthy food, at farmers markets and community gardens for example, while ensuring that surrounding neighborhoods are protected from impacts such as noise, traffic and pollutants.
The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is working collaboratively with the Portland-Multnomah County Food Policy Council, which has studied zoning barriers for food production and distribution for many years. Together, we are leading a Project Advisory Group (PAG) that will help develop project proposals and engage the larger community. The first PAG meetings in January and February have focused on five topic areas:
Multnomah County has awarded a Community Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant to BPS and Oregon Public Health Institute (OPHI). These funds will help to ensure health and equity are considered in this project and that decisions related to urban food production and distribution maximize public health benefits.
The next PAG meeting will review the summaries from these topic-area discussions and prepare for a citywide public review of the issues and possible solutions in April and May. PAG meetings are open to the public, and announcements and agendas are posted at: www.portlandonline.com/bps/foodcode.
Get on the project mailing list for updates and announcements.
Follow our project news RSS feed.
Visit the project website for updates and public review opportunities.
Participate in or follow the discussions of the Project Advisory Group.
BPS E-News Issue 10
The Food Policy Program has a full plate, as you can see by the articles elsewhere in this issue on our Urban Growth Bounty series and food zoning code review. In addition to city planning for better access and educational outreach, we continue to work with residents and businesses to create new opportunities for growing and distributing food. Good health is a cornerstone of sustainability and expanding our options for good food improves personal, environmental and economic health.
One notable project is a partnership with Mercy Corp Northwest's Agriculture Project. Nepalese refugees from Bhutan are growing a wide range of organic vegetable crops on city-owned land that had not been used for more than five years. The families are growing food for personal use and selling their produce to Reed College and farm shares through their own Growers Alliance CSA (community-supported agriculture). If you’re interested in a share (pickups are in Sellwood/Brooklyn and Old Town), contact them at 503-896-5076.
In addition to helping urban residents grow their own food, BPS builds awareness of the importance of supporting local farmers and provides technical assistance farmers markets and CSA farms. Several new farmers markets will open this year and you will find them (and a complete list of CSA farms) at www.portlandonline.com/bps/food.
If your group is interested in hearing more about food’s role in our lives, we’d be happy to schedule a speaker. Call Steve Cohen, 503-823-4225 for details.