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

Barbur Concept Plan getting ready to roll

BPS E-News Issue 13 - September

Have you heard the rumor about light rail coming to Barbur Blvd? It could come true, but there are a lot of decisions to be made beforehand. The City of Portland is working with Metro, ODOT, TriMet and the cities of Tigard, Tualatin, King City and Sherwood to plan for some form of high-capacity transit (i.e., light rail, streetcar, rapid bus service) somewhere in the southwest corridor. Before those transit decisions are made, however, the five cities are working with their communities to develop a vision for their respective sections of the corridor to inform the regional transit decisions. A Barbur light rail line is just one possibility among many being considered as part of the Southwest Corridor Plan.

The Southwest Corridor Plan is a comprehensive planning effort led by Metro to create livable and sustainable communities along the corridor between Portland, Tigard and Sherwood through integrated community investments in land use and transportation. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is beginning work on a portion of that planning process, the Barbur Concept Plan, which will create a long-term vision for the six-mile Barbur Boulevard corridor, from Portland’s Central City to the Tigard city limit. This means identifying potential station areas where housing and jobs would be best served by improved transit, and what sorts of amenities and infrastructure improvements are needed to make these areas successful and enjoyable places to live and work.

Portland's Barbur Concept Plan kicks off in September with two planned neighborhood walks and a
community working group meeting. Visit to get on the project mailing list and learn more about this exciting project for the southwest’s major boulevard and corridor.



Second annual Solar Now! University offers solar education in Roseburg

BPS E-News Issue 13 - September

Solar Now! University is a small conference for local governments and community organizations in Oregon. It’s an opportunity to learn the necessary technical education and background information for coordinating solar educational and outreach programs in their own communities.

This year's conference will take place in Roseburg on Sept. 22-24. Representatives from western and southern Oregon will gather to learn from experts in the field of solar energy. While this event is open to the public, attendees are encouraged to have strong ties to their local municipalities and existing outreach networks and previous renewable or solar energy experience.

For more information or to register, please visit: Solar Now University Registration



Dubuque, Iowa launched a residential food composting program before Portland?

BPS E-News Issue 13 - September

Did you know that Portland is actually late in the game when it comes to curbside residential food composting? It's true: We are lagging behind other cities across the country. According to BioCycle magazine, "more than 90 towns and cities in the United States already offer collection of food scraps and food-soiled paper - and more are considering it every day." Tons of mixed organic waste produces high levels of methane, a volatile greenhouse gas that causes climate change.

From pilot programs in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Colorado to regional programs in Alameda County, California and King County, Washington -- and let's not forget Dubuque and Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- residents are changing their habits. And some cities, like San Francisco and Seattle, dared to make residential organics collection mandatory for all.

Here's a look at what other cities are doing with their food scraps:


Dubuque: Dubuque’s residential organics collection program started as a two-year pilot in 2006, but is now permanent, offered to all 57,000 residents.

Cedar Rapids: Cedar Rapids began allowing residents to place vegetative food waste in their yard trimmings carts in 1999!


Seattle: Seattle's mandatory food scrap collection program has a participation rate of over 90 percent. Households may opt out of the program if they can demonstrate that they already compost at home.


San Francisco:  The first of its kind in the U.S., San Francisco's ordinance requires residents and businesses (including apartment buildings) to separate organics and recyclables from the garbage.


About a year ago, Salem and Keizer were the first cities in Oregon to participate Marion County's curbside collection of meat, produce and other food scraps for composting. Having a commercial composting facility nearby made the quick transition possible.

Portlanders can take the credit for making our city a national leader in recycling, and let’s hope that enthusiasm will carry forward once curbside collection of food scraps begins on Oct. 31. Keep up with our food composting program as Portland catches up:


June Key Delta Community Center celebrates grand opening

BPS E-News Issue 13 - September

On a recent summer evening, a BPS grantee of the Green Investment Fund celebrated their grand opening. The celebration was a joyous event attended by Delta Sigma Theta sorority members, the Piedmont Neighborhood community, elected officials and sustainability professionals.

For the last 20 years, the Delta Sigma Theta sorority has been working to redevelop an abandoned and formerly contaminated gas station on North Albina and Ainsworth. This project has grown into so much more than just a meeting hall for the all-African American sorority members. As a grassroots Living Building demonstration project, the community center will be an educational space to learn about advanced green building practices and will be utilized as a community garden and community center for the broader North Portland community.

The June Key Delta Community Center is currently the first grassroots and African American owned commercial building to pursue the Living Building Challenge in the United States, and has the potential to be the first commercial Living Building in Oregon. This project serves as an example of how a wide range of diverse stakeholders can work together to develop and achieve a "greener" future for the communities most impacted by environmental and health disparities.

In 2006 the Cascadia Chapter of the US Green Building Council issued the Living Building Challenge, a standard that strives to move beyond the LEED system for a truly restorative building science. The standard uses 20 imperatives, organized around 7 themes known as "petals". These petals encompass the following subjects: Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity, and Beauty.  Each of the requirements defined in the imperatives are mandatory.

Upon completion, the site will include the following sustainable development features:

  • Energy Production: Net-zero energy from solar and geothermal energy sources on site.
  • Water Treatment: Storm-water will be stored, processed to potable standards, and re-used on site. Black water effluent will also be treated and infiltrated on-site.
  • Eco-friendly Materials: Only non-toxic, sensitively sourced, and recycled materials will be installed in the building structure.
  • Urban Agriculture: A portion of the brownfield has been transformed into a productive community garden.
  • Minority Owned Business Empowerment & Employment Opportunity: Equitable contracting, hiring, and training opportunities have been a priority throughout construction.


The Portland region is known around the nation for being ahead of the curve in sustainable, environmentally-friendly development. But, those developments have not always provided opportunities for the communities in most need of empowerment and most affected by climate change. The June Key Delta Community Center presents an opportunity to bring sustainable building practices to a broader community, where one building embodies the hopes of all people to live in a healthy, safe, and equitable world.

You can tour the June Key Delta House on the Build It Green! Home Tour .

Alternative concepts for West Hayden Island developed

BPS E-News Issue 13 - September

In July 2010 the Portland City Council passed a resolution directing BPS to develop a legislative proposal for the annexation of West Hayden Island to the City. Because the island is valuable for both its marine industrial potential as well as wildlife habitat, Council specified that the proposal should designate at least 500 acres as open space and no more than 300 acres for future deep water marine terminal development. Since then, the City has been conducting research, engaging the public and working with the project Advisory Committee to prepare a Concept Plan and legislative package for City Council consideration.

The City of Portland is working with consultant Worley Parsons to formulate concept plan alternatives for West Hayden Island, based upon the direction of the City Council resolution. New rail and street access will be included in the developed portions of the island. The consultant (an international firm specializing in sustainable marine, industrial and infrastructure development) and City staff have been working with the project’s Advisory Committee to identify a list of issues and evaluation criteria to review any future proposals.

The City anticipates releasing two Concept Plan options from Worley Parsons at the end of September. These will be followed by two public open houses in October to discuss the options and invite feedback. The open houses will be held on Hayden Island, and the concepts will be posted on the West Hayden Island website during this time.

Exact dates for the open houses will be available in September at