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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

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North, Northwest Portland neighbors offer free Solarize Workshops

BPS E-News Issue 10

North and Northwest Portland area homeowners can join hundreds of Portland households controlling their energy costs by investing in solar electricity. And, they now have a helping hand to guide them through the steps of a home installation. Solarize Northwest and Solarize North Portland are two new grassroots, community-based projects coordinated by Neighbors West-Northwest and North Portland Neighborhood Services.

Free workshops makes going solar easy and affordable

Solarize Portland neighborhood projects are designed to simplify the process of going solar and bring cost reductions through volume purchasing. Free workshops make the process easy to understand by covering topics such as the size of system to purchase, budgeting and financing, and how to get started.

Solarize Northwest

Introductory Workshop
Saturday, March 5

10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Legacy Good Samaritan, Building 2
1015 NW 22nd Ave

Solarize North Portland

Introductory Workshop
Tuesday, March 29

6:30 - 8 p.m.
Kenton Firehouse
8105 N Brandon Ave

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the nonprofit organization Energy Trust of Oregon are working together to support the launch of Solarize Northwest and North Portland, and can help any Portland neighborhood associations or groups interested in operating Solarize projects. For these two projects, the City of Portland is providing strategic assistance and coordination, and Energy Trust is providing technical assistance and cash incentives to help lower the upfront cost of the solar electric systems. Also, Solar Oregon is offering educational workshops and providing database services.

In addition, any Portland homeowner or business can call our Solar Energy team at 503.823.7581, for free technical assistance when considering a solar installation.

Take action: Sign up for Urban Growth Bounty classes

BPS E-News Issue 10

Now in its third year, the Food Program’s Urban Growth Bounty educational series offers educational opportunities to add to your urban homesteading skills. Workshops focus on growing food-producing plants, cooking healthy meals or making food products as well as raising animals that are complementary to a food garden, like bees, goats and chickens.

There are still plenty of classes scheduled that will appeal to food gardeners. Here’s a sampling of some unique workshops that still have space available:

Learn all about food gardening in just two sessions

Intensive Vegetable Production is a two-part workshop that connects all of the aspects of producing vegetables in the backyard or on small acreage into a cohesive system. It is designed for experienced and new gardeners, backyard growers, and back-40 farmers alike who want more details on tools and techniques for producing a consistent harvest of vegetables any time of year. You'll start inside, looking at fundamental concepts and then move outside to demo tools and techniques appropriate for gardeners growing on just a small patch, but also used by production farms of all sizes. Specific topics include:


  • Planning what to grow and ordering seeds

  • Fertility and Tillage

  • Starting Seeds and Planting

  • Cultivating, weeding, pests and diseases

  • Irrigating

  • Harvesting

  • Crop by crop specifics

Demonstrations in the Garden

  • Tillage tools and techniques

  • Cultivation tools and techniques

  • Seed starting and growing seedlings

  • Direct seeding

  • Setting up irrigation systems

  • Building compost piles

Thursday, April 14
Registration required, $95 fee
6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Beaumont Middle School
4043 NE Fremont

Saturday, April 16 (included, no extra fee)
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Site TBA


Get dirty with your tools and create healthy soil

Appropriate tools and healthy soil are the foundation for a successful garden. Instructor Will Newman co-founded the Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust and is a certified Permaculture instructor. Will is an expert on soils from his experience at Soil Foodweb Inc., a world-leading soil biology testing laboratory, where he studied soil biology, nutrient transfer, and the soil food web's role in supporting healthy, productive plants.

Register for Will's classes here.

All About Tools

This class will provide the basic knowledge needed to know which tools are needed in growing plants, how they should be used, and the advantage of keeping tools in good repair. You’ll also learn what is necessary for proper maintenance of your tool collection.

Thursday, April 28
Registration required, $25 fee
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Beaumont Middle School
4043 NE Fremont


Soils 101: Building Healthy Soil

This class will open your eyes to the wonder of healthy, balanced soils and their role in supporting healthy, vibrant, productive plants, while suppressing weeds, insects and diseases. Whether you are new to growing or have years of experience, you will learn what good soil is, and how to bring your soil into balance for growing abundant plants.

Thursday, May 5
Registration required, $25 fee
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Beaumont Middle School
4043 NE Fremont


Soils 201: Maintaining Healthy Soil

For the new or experienced grower, this class will give you the tools you can use in maintaining balanced, healthy soils in order to consistently grow healthy, productive, bountiful plants and avoid disease and insect damage. This class will cover making and using good compost in the Portland metro area, and the roles of mulches and compost tea.

Thursday, May 19
Registration required, $25 fee
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Beaumont Middle School
4043 NE Fremont


Have even more time for garden education?

Take a series of classes to learn how to grow food in your corner of the city, taught by the gardening experts from Oregon Tilth. Register for the Urban Gardener Series here.

Urban Gardener Series

If you’re an urban dweller looking for new ways to increase your garden yields and grow more food in a limited space, this 3-class series is for you! Learn space saving strategies for urban gardens, including intensive techniques, container gardening and year round growing methods. For beginning and intermediate gardeners.

Register for all three classes: $95

Class 1: Intensive Vegetable Gardening
The goal of intensive gardening is to harvest the most produce possible from a given space.
Wednesday, April 20
Registration required, $35 fee

Class 2: Container and Vertical Vegetable Gardening
Attend this class to learn how to grow bountiful vegetables in containers and utilize vertical gardening methods to save space in your garden.
Wednesday, May 18
Registration required, $35 fee

Class 3: Year-Round Vegetable Gardening
Early summer is the best time to prepare your soil and begin planting for a year-round food garden.
Wednesday, June 8
Registration required, $35 fee

Find even more fun opportunities at

River Plan update

BPS E-News Issue 10

For several years, the City has been working on an update to the Willamette Greenway Plan: the River Plan. This comprehensive plan addresses a broad set of issues for the land along the Willamette River, including supporting harbor Industries, revitalizing neighborhoods, enhancing recreation and ensuring the health of the river’s natural resources.

The River Plan / North Reach was adopted unanimously by the Portland City Council in April 2010. It was subsequently appealed by Gunderson, LLC; Schnitzer Steel Industries; and the Working Waterfront Coalition.

On Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, the state Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) remanded the plan back to the City. While LUBA did not agree with many arguments put forth by the appellants, it did rule that the environmental zones, the vegetation enhancement standard and the trail area might reduce the City’s supply of industrial land.

LUBA said that the City must quantify the net number of acres, if any, the new regulations may remove from industrial development, and evaluate the impact of any net reduction on the City’s inventory of industrial lands.

The City had an opportunity to appeal this decision to the Court of Appeals but decided it was in the best interest of the City to keep the plan moving forward. Before bringing a revised River Plan back to council, BPS will finalize an opportunities analysis. That analysis will go before the Planning and Sustainability Commission and City Council, likely in the Fall.

In more recent developments, Gunderson, et al, appealed the LUBA decision and filed petitions for judicial review with the Court of Appeals. The City has until March 25 to respond to industry’s arguments.

There have been several stories in the local press about the River Plan, the LUBA decision and appeals, including an op-ed by former Planning Commission Chair Don Hanson. To read it in the Oregonian, visit:
The overall purpose of the River Plan is to balance economic development and protection with enhancement of natural resources. Until it is re-adopted, the Willamette Greenway Plan will continue to be in effect for river development.

From our Director, Susan Anderson: New strategic plan will guide our bureau through 2013

BPS E-News Issue 10

It is my pleasure to present the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s 2011-13 Strategic Plan. The plan provides a clear path forward and a framework for developing innovative approaches and practical solutions on issues as far-ranging as comprehensive, strategic, neighborhood and infrastructure planning to waste reduction, green and historic building, recycling, food, energy efficiency and solar technologies.

The strategy includes a strong mission, goals and objectives, as well as a clear understanding of our values and the “toolbox” we use to deliver on our goals.

Many thanks to those community members who contributed to the strategic planning process for BPS over the course of the last year via surveys, interviews and focus groups. As with all of our work to make Portland a more prosperous, equitable and healthy city, we rely on active collaboration with public and private partners from around the city and across the globe.

I am proud to represent the hard working staff of BPS. They bring tremendous technical expertise, collaboration and problem-solving skills, integrated and long-range thinking, entrepreneurial experience and a passion to make a difference on critical issues. We look forward to working with a community full of partners to implement these many ambitious projects and policies.

Please take a look at our new strategic plan. Let us know what you think, and tell us how you can be a partner to help reach our citywide goals.




Susan Anderson
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Help shape Portland’s future at a Portland Plan Fair

BPS E-News Issue 10

Springtime is close, and we’re ringing in the warmer season with a series of family-friendly Portland Plan Fairs. Featuring food, music, performances, games, prizes, booths and exhibitors — and even exotic animals (at the Zoo) — the fairs offer something for everyone.

The Portland Plan provides an opportunity for Portlanders to help define community priorities, guide investments and set the course for the city for the next 25 years. The plan is a multi-year, citywide project to create a strategic plan with short-term actions as well as a long-range plan for the physical, economic, social, cultural and environmental development of the city.
At the Portland Plan Fairs, we’ll be rolling out draft strategies around issues that Portlanders have indicated are their most important priorities: equity, education, economic prosperity and affordability, and healthy connected neighborhoods.

Developed with the community, these integrated strategies combine long-range policies with short-term actions to help get us started on achieving our goal of a thriving and sustainable city, with opportunity for all.

You may have read about the strategies in the latest issue of the Curbsider or at Now you can take advantage of another opportunity to learn more and provide feedback on this citywide plan for Portland’s future.
Colored Pencils Art Collective will give four performances at each event. Free childcare will be provided at all locations.
West Portland    
Sunday, March 6

12:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road
TriMet #63, MAX Red + Blue

North Portland
Thursday, March 10

6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
De La Salle North Catholic High School
7528 N Fenwick Avenue
TriMet #4, #6, #75; MAX Yellow
En Español, también!

East Portland
Saturday, March 12

10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
10301 NE Glisan Street
TriMet #15, #19; MAX Green + Blue

Come share your ideas about how to get to the future we want! For more information, call 503-823-2041.