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New District Liaison returns to North Portland

Urban Designer Leslie Lum brings community development experience to her new role

District Liaison for North PortlandMeet city planner Leslie Lum, the new North Portland District Liaison for the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS). An urban designer with BPS since 2008, Leslie’s design expertise and keen problem-solving skills will benefit the entire BPS District Planning team. Her experience building and sustaining relationships with under-served and under-represented communities throughout the city will also be an asset to the North Portland community.

Leslie brings many years of experience with the Housing Authority of Portland (now Home Forward), Portland Impact (now Impact Northwest) and other nonprofit organizations in Eugene and Los Angeles. Since the late 1990s, Leslie has worked alongside many communities and neighborhoods, including what is now New Columbia.

“I feel really lucky to be able to serve in the role of a district liaison, and I’m excited to work in North Portland again,” she said. “In many ways, the independent, hardworking spirit of the small business owners, tradespeople and working class families of North Portland are what I was initially drawn to in Portland when I first moved here."

Before becoming a city planner and urban designer, most of her experience has been in the housing and community development fields, from environmental education with at-risk youth to managing Community Development Block Grant funds.

“I find myself most rooted when I’m doing community work, so I’m looking forward to getting back in the neighborhoods to talk with residents about their concerns,” she said.

Leslie has worked on a variety of projects at BPS, mostly in the Central City and East Portland. A resident of the Montavilla neighborhood, she enjoys hearing Portlanders “talk about how they experience the built environment.”

She thinks North Portland is unique because it is the only district that touches both the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. She has fond memories of biking scenic Willamette Blvd above the bluff during the early hours of winter on her way to work. She appreciates the rivers as “dynamic, inspirational elements” that are both “an amazing environmental treasure and a passage for industry.”

Please welcome Leslie to North Portland if you haven’t already. You can reach her at or 503-823-7896. 

Kilowatt crackdown competition winners announced in Portland

Sixty-four local commercial building teams embrace energy efficiency

Energy Trust of Oregon, Clark Public Utilities, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Oregon, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), City of Portland, and Portland Development Commission announced the winners of the 2013 Kilowatt Crackdown, a competition to improve energy performance of commercial office buildings. The competition engaged 15 million square feet, or 20 percent of Oregon’s commercial leased office space in buildings greater than 50,000 square feet, in addition to buildings in Vancouver, Wash.

The Kilowatt Crackdown competition kicked off in January 2013, and 64 commercial buildings in the greater Portland metropolitan area and Vancouver, Wash., completed the 12-month program to save energy and reduce operating expenses. The goal of the competition was to increase adoption of energy efficiency best practices by providing building owners, managers, engineers and operators with resources to implement efficient practices as a competitive advantage. The program provided assistance in benchmarking energy use, analyzing opportunities for savings, identifying action items to improve building performance, implementing these improvements in partnership with Energy Trust of Oregon and Clark Public Utilities, and reporting on progress.

“Collaborating with premier partners allows us to elevate Portland as a leader in energy efficiency and in the reduction of carbon emissions,” said Susan Steward, Executive Director of BOMA Oregon.  “Bringing the public and private sectors together in this effort, with the largest amount of office floor space participating, maximizes our reach in bringing energy-efficient resources to the greater Portland metropolitan area.”

Business leaders set an example for all Portlanders

Kilowatt Crackdown determined the building winners by overall performance and improvement, with categories for buildings in their inaugural year in the competition as well as multiple-year participants. In addition, the jury awarded special recognition for “most aggressive” building team and an individual award for “energy efficiency champion.” Portland Mayor Charlie Hales joined the competition sponsors to recognize the buildings at the awards event yesterday evening.

“Increasing energy efficiency can save money and increase asset value. It also means happier tenants who want to stay in your buildings longer,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. “As we update and implement our Climate Action Plan, I will look to our community to follow the example of business leaders like these building managers. As we’ve seen with this competition, reducing carbon emissions can be a great financial investment.”

One participant in the competition was Oregon Pacific Properties, which manages the Forum Building and continually makes efforts to emphasize sustainability throughout the building. As part of the Kilowatt Crackdown program’s technical scoping, Oregon Pacific Properties discovered gaps in the sheet metal panels on the building’s roof and made improvements to seal the building envelope to reduce the heating and cooling load. In addition, the company identified maintenance issues with the building’s automatic thermostat, and made improvements in the filtration of the cooling system to make it more energy efficient. The Forum Building received third place in a tie for highest-performing building in its inaugural year in the competition.

kwcd2013 Kilowatt Crackdown winners

Highest-Performing Building (Inaugural Year Participants)

First place - Bonneville Power Administration Headquarters, managed by the Bonneville Power Administration

Second place - Multnomah Building, managed by Multnomah County, Oregon

Third place (tie) - Forum Building, managed by Oregon Pacific Properties

Third place (tie) - World Trade Center Portland, managed by World Trade Center Properties/Portland General Electric

Highest-Performing Building (Multiple-Year Participants)

First place - Congress Center, managed by Shorenstein

Second place - Liberty Centre, managed by Langley Investment Properties

Third place - Oregon Square 729, managed by American Assets Trust

Most Improved Building (Inaugural Year Participants)

First place - The Reserve, managed by Harsch

Second place - McGillivray Place, managed by Melvin Mark Co.

Third place - 1000 Broadway, managed by 1000 Inc.

Most Improved Building (Multiple-Year Participants)

First place - The Portland Building, managed by City of Portland

Second place - Pacwest Center, managed by Langley Investment Properties

Third place - Portland City Hall, managed by City of Portland

Jury Awards

Most Aggressive - OHSU Center for Health and Healing, managed by CBRE

Energy Efficiency Champion – Ty Barker, General Manager, Unico Properties LLC

Visit for more information on Kilowatt Crackdown.


Portland’s Central Eastside: Transportation for Goods and for People

Exploring how the Central Eastside balances its different transportation needs.

It’s often asked whether land use determines transportation or transportation determines land use. The answer is yes; both are true. Sometimes these two factors evolve in complementary ways to establish a district’s unique character. This is especially true in the Central Eastside. The urban form and character of the district is shaped by past transportation infrastructure (docks, rail and freight) and continues to evolve with new infrastructure, such as light rail and streetcar.

Despite its challenges, the district’s diverse and complicated public realm is often heralded as one of its most appealing attributes.Historically, the ways of moving goods established the character of the area, which can loosely be described as an old waterfront industrial district, with wide streets, some with cobblestones, many with loading docks, where the car, truck, pedestrian and cyclist share — and often compete for — use of the same right-of-way.

Let’s take a look at all the different transportation modes that function within the district.


An industrial district thrives or dies depending on how well it is served by freight. Although the Central Eastside may not be the ideal location for new large-scale warehouse and distribution businesses, nearly every business in the district receives their raw materials and ships their products by freight — small vans, box trucks, flatbeds or semi-trailer trucks.

The ever-expanding multi-modal transportation system offers many ways into and out of the district, especially for employees. However, the area serves a larger regional customer base, which needs to circulate through the district by car and park, no matter how expansive the multi-modal system becomes.

The Automobile

As employment densities grow in the district, new parking strategies will be required for the expanding job base, especially for those who live far away and are not well connected to the district by transit.



The expanding light rail and streetcar systems present an opportunity to leverage those public investments to create greater job densities in the district, especially around major transit station areas. The challenge will be to manage growth in a way that the district can continue to serve its primary role as a central location for manufacturing and industrial services.

Active Transportation (Bicyclists and Pedestrians)

Regardless of how one gets to the Central Eastside — by truck, car, bus or boat — as soon as they arrive, they become a pedestrian. Pedestrian safety is paramount, and many of the pedestrian areas also provide auto and truck access. In addition, the district is bisected by multiple regional and local bicycle routes, and a growing number of district employees choose to get to and from work by bike.

Finding ways to encourage more employees to use active transportation will reduce congestion, decrease parking demand and generally make for happier and healthier employees.


This is the eleventh installment of a blog series aimed at exploring the past, present, and future of the Central Eastside. To learn more about transportation in the Central Eastside and the planning efforts for the district, read the Central Eastside Reader and visit the SE Quadrant Plan calendar to learn about future events.

Portland's Central Eastside: Urban Character and Form

Main streets and corridors are at the heart of the district, providing space for commercial, retail and residential uses.

Although the Central Eastside is mostly known as an industrial district, the main street corridors along MLK, Grand Avenue, and Burnside, Morrison and Belmont Streets, as well as much of 12th Avenue, contain more than 85 acres of mixed-use zoning. These areas include a mix of housing, retail, commercial office and other land uses, with zoning entitlements that allow buildings as large and tall as those found in the Pearl District. However, there has been very little development in these areas.

The Central Eastside is experiencing a renaissance in transit service. Already served by bus and streetcar, the district will soon be connected to the greater region by light rail. When this system comes online — especially connections to the south via light rail, and west via light rail and streetcar — the expanded accessibility and exposure to the district will stimulate change that is hard to foresee. With lots of untapped development potential, these areas could provide ample opportunities for supportive retail and mixed-use development to locate in the district, just a short walk from most of the industrially zoned parcels in the district.

Balancing District Character and Function

Though it has been lost in other parts of the Central City, the unique industrial character of the Central Eastside exists largely because the area has been preserved as an industrial sanctuary.

Most buildings remain in use by large and small industrial businesses. However, as the needs and efficiencies of modern industrial users evolve, structures built decades ago for warehousing, manufacturing and industrial services may become obsolete and outlive the purposes for which they were intended. It will be important to examine how such buildings can be repurposed for nontraditional industrial uses, so the district can continue to be a business incubator for the city and regional economy.

This examination will need to consider how a mix of traditional and nontraditional industrial users can occupy the same district — often within the same building — and make it functionally and financially possible for both to coexist in the long run.

This is the tenth installment of a blog series aimed at exploring the past, present, and future of the Central Eastside. To learn more about the urban character and form of the Central Eastside and the planning efforts for the district, read the Central Eastside Reader and visit the SE Quadrant Plan calendar to learn about future events.

PSC News: June 10, 2014 Meeting Recap and Documents

Comprehensive Plan Update Schedule — briefing; Willamette River Goal 15 Inventories — briefing


  • Comprehensive Plan Update Schedule briefing
  • Willamette River Goal 15 Inventories briefing

Meeting files

**If you receive an error message, click the icon to the right of "Contained Records" to open the document listing.

An archive of meeting minutes, documents and audio recordings of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at