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Portland City Council adopts Climate Change Preparation Strategy, Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment

News Release posted October 8, 2014

News from the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

CONTACT
Christine Llobregat
503-823-7007

Portland City Council adopts Climate Change Preparation Strategy, Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment

New strategy guides local policies, operations, services and infrastructure in response to climate change projections

Portland, ORE. — Portland City Council today voted to adopt the Climate Change Preparation Strategy and the associated Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment. This strategy completes an action from the 2009 City of Portland and Multnomah County Climate Action Plan to identify how climate change will affect the region and what actions are needed to protect communities.

“Preparing our community for the impacts of a changing climate is simply good, responsible management,” said Mayor Charlie Hales, City of Portland. “We’re fortunate that Portland doesn’t face the same scale of threats that many coastal cities must deal with, but we do expect real impacts and take them seriously. At the same time, reducing carbon emissions remains a crucial component of Portland’s climate work."

The strategy and background report explore the impacts of climate change on various sectors, including people, infrastructure, and natural systems likes rivers and wetlands. Potential impacts to food production, climate migrants, energy systems and the economy are also briefly explored in the strategy. The strategy establishes 12 objectives and identifies more than 80 actions to build climate resilience into Portland’s and Multnomah County’s policies, operations, services and infrastructure over the coming years.

“This plan is about fairness,” said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. “People who are going to be most vulnerable to the heat are older adults, our homeless population, people of color and low-income community members who don’t have the means to adapt or get out of town. Multnomah County is committed to helping prepare this community to protect their health.”

Portland’s climate future is expected to be characterized by warmer winters with heavier rainstorms and hotter, drier summers with an increased frequency of high-heat days. The strategy identifies five distinct risks:

Hotter, drier summers with more high-heat days

  • Risk 1: Increased temperatures (both day and night) and frequency of high-heat days.
  • Risk 2: Increased frequency of drought.
  • Risk 3: Increased wildfire frequency and intensity.

Warmer winters with the potential for more intense rain events

  • Risk 4: Increased frequency and magnitude of damaging floods.
  • Risk 5: Increased landslides.

Successful preparation requires an understanding of how climate change may affect people most vulnerable to expected impacts, particularly increased temperatures, poor air quality and flooding. Where possible, the strategy recommends prioritizing preparation actions in communities such as low-income populations and communities of color where people face current and historical disparities that may be exacerbated by climate change impacts.

Carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and from land use changes, including deforestation, are the primary drivers of the climate change we are experiencing today and expect to see in the future. Reducing carbon emissions remains a crucial component of climate change preparation work.

Developed by the City of Portland and Multnomah County, the strategy and background report were informed by advisors from the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, Oregon Department of Geology & Mineral Industries and the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Next steps

With today’s adoption of the Climate Change Preparation Strategy, City and County staff will build on existing efforts to reduce risks from climate change impacts through implementation, capacity building, research, monitoring and evaluation.

The strategy and assessment are linked to the City of Portland and Multnomah County Climate Action Plan, which integrates City and County work to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change while also preparing for the impacts that we will experience. Portland and Multnomah County are currently in the process of updating the Climate Action Plan, the first version of which was adopted in 1993.
BPS will soon release the updated Climate Action Plan for public comment, and staff will integrate the main recommendations from the Climate Change Preparation Strategy. Visit Portland’s Climate Preparation and Action website to learn more about the Climate Action Plan update project and other existing climate efforts.

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About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) develops creative and practical solutions to enhance Portland’s livability, preserve distinctive places and plan for a resilient future. BPS collaborates with community partners to provide comprehensive land use, neighborhood, district, economic, historic and environmental planning, and urban design; research, policy and technical services to advance green building, energy efficiency and the use of solar and renewable energy, waste prevention, composting and recycling, and a sustainable food system; and, policy and actions to address climate change.

Transformational Resilience (TR) workshops

Please see this event opportunity from a community partner

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The Resource Innovation Group (TRIG), in partnership with the The Sanctuary Institute, is offering two Transformational Resilience (TR) workshops this November in Portland, OR. The TR program helps private, public, and non-profit leaders recognize and enhance their natural capacities to cope with traumas and chronic stresses of many types, including those enhanced by climate change, and use those adversities as catalysts to make values-based choices to learn, grow, and enhance well being. More information can be found here: http://www.theresourceinnovationgroup.org/tr-workshops

The workshops are co-sponsored by: Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, City of Portland Department of Planning and Sustainability, City of Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, Clackamas County Health, Housing, and Human Services, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Multnomah County Department of Mental Health and Addiction, Mulnomah County Office of Emergency Management, Multnomah County Department of Aging and Disabilities Services, Multnomah County Office of Sustainability, & The Resource Innovation Group.

November 13-14: Leaders Self-Care Workshop

This workshop is designed to help leaders learn how to care for themselves as they care for others in the midst of stress and adversity. The resilient  GROWTH© model will be used to teach participants simple neuroscience-based presencing skills to calm and center themselves by countering their body’s natural psychobiological reaction to adversity. Participants will then learn simple purposing skills to make values-based choices to guide their actions in the midst of ongoing stress and trauma.
Location: Plaza Conference Room, World Trade Center, 121 SW Salmon, Portland, OR
Cost:  $185 per person (a limited number of scholarships are available)
Learn More  |  Register Here

November 18: Organizational & Community Safe Haven TR Workshop

To cope and thrive in the midst of stress and trauma, including the direct and indirect adversities generated by climate change, organizations and communities need to become psychological and emotional Safe Havens for employees and stakeholders. Yet, many organizations react to adversity by unconsciously adopting self-protective mechanisms that further stress and traumatize people. The Safe Haven TR workshop will help senior and mid-level executives from public, private, and non-profit organizations understand the differences between a “trauma-organized” and “resilience-enhancing” organization and assess the degree to which their organization is trauma-organized. Using the Sanctuary Model as a guide, the principles and practices of resilience-enhancing organizations will then be explained. Participants will then learn how to develop and implement systems-based change strategies and develop a customized strategy to transition their organization to a resilience-enhancing Safe-Haven. 
Location: Flaggs Room, World Trade Center, 121 SW Salmon, Portland, OR 
Cost:  $95 per person (a limited number of scholarships are available)
Learn More  |  Register Here

More information on Transformational Resilience Workshops: http://www.theresourceinnovationgroup.org/tr-workshops  
Email: TR@trig-cli.org

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PSC News: September 23, 2014 Meeting Recap and Documents

Comprehensive Plan — hearing

Agenda

  • Comprehensive Plan — hearing 

Meeting files

An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at http://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/webdrawer.dll/webdrawer/search/rec?sm_class=uri_7223&count&rows=50.

Join Sustainability at Work at fall events

Innovation in Sustainability nominations open through September 30, Go Green begins October 15.

Innovation in Sustainability Nominations - open now through Sept 30!

Is your organization using groundbreaking ideas, technology, business models or products to advance the definition of sustainable business? Portland Business Journal (PBJ) wants to highlight your work through the Innovation in Sustainability Awards. Nominees can be a business, local government, advocacy group or individual.

This year PBJ has opened up the awards, removing specific categories so that it’s easier to share your story through the nomination process. Award winners will honored at an evening ceremony on November 20, and will be featured in the Portland Business Journal.

Apply now

Experience GoGreen on October 15 and 16

Engage in interactive, peer-to-peer learning to generate solutions to our region's most pressing challenges. Featured topics at the 7th annual GoGreen Portland conference include:

  • EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership “Outstanding Participants” sharing what’s helped them achieve the next level of sustainability, featuring BPS Director Susan Anderson
  • The sharing economy as a mainstream economic driver, featuring Jackie Dingfelder, Policy Director, City of Portland
  • The Competitive City - how Portland measures up  on economy, the environment, citizenship, quality of life and more, featuring Mayor Charlie Hales
  • The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations –addressing the tension between green activism and racial justice, featuring Desiree Williams-Rajee, BPS Equity Specialist

Receive a 50 percent discount on tickets when you use our promotional code PORTLAND. (Code must be used at time of ticket purchase.) 

Register now

Amsterdam, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, London, Melbourne, NYC, Seoul, Shenzhen and … Portland!

What do these global metropolises have in common? This week C40 and Siemens honored these cities for leadership in tackling climate change.

Portland is among 10 worldwide honorees to receive the 2014 City Climate Leadership Awards due to the Portland Plan Healthy Connected City strategy. The Awards honor cities all over the world for excellence in urban sustainability and leadership in the fight against climate change.

Siemens and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group  — or C40 — announced the winners Monday evening at a ceremony in New York City.

They are:

  • Amsterdam: Finance & Economic Development
  • Barcelona: Intelligent City Infrastructure
  • Buenos Aires: Solid Waste Management
  • London: Carbon Measurement & Planning and Air Quality
  • Melbourne: Adaptation & Resilience
  • New York City: Energy Efficient Built Environment
  • Portland: Sustainable Communities
  • Seoul: Green Energy
  • Shenzhen: Urban Transportation

“Portland stands proudly alongside the global megacities that make up the C40,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “We're delighted to have the honor and recognition that the Portland’s Healthy Connected City approach has proven to be a powerful carbon-reduction strategy.”

Eduardo Paes, mayor of Rio de Janeiro and chairman of the C40 group, praised the honorees. “I commend the winning cities for their leadership and commitment, and am confident that their knowledge and experience will help drive other cities to implement on-the-ground solutions faster and more efficiently. Through cooperation and collaboration, cities continue to deliver the results that are having a global impact.”

Hales praised Susan Anderson, director of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and Michael Armstrong, senior sustainability manager, along with outside partners ranging from Metro to Multnomah County to the state government. He said the private sector plays a huge role in the honor as well.

“In Portland, the basic idea is to develop the centers of our existing neighborhoods into highly walkable, lively commercial districts, making it easy and convenient to get to the schools, shops, jobs, parks, coffee and beer that make Portland a great place to live, work and play,” Hales said.

The Portland Plan also calls for offering new housing opportunities so even more residents can live in complete neighborhoods. And then connecting these neighborhoods with low-carbon transportation options.

“We are about to complete the first new bridge in downtown Portland in 30 years, and it will carry light rail, streetcar, buses, bicycles and pedestrians … but not private vehicles,” Hales said this spring, while addressing the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Chicago. “This is the kind of investment we are making to make our healthy connected city a reality.”

The winners were celebrated at an Awards Ceremony featuring C40 Board President Michael R.  Bloomberg and Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Norwegian Prime Minister. The event brought together more than 250 decision-makers from cities around the world including national leaders, mayors, city planners, policy makers and representatives from the business world.

Josh Alpert, special projects adviser to Mayor Hales, attended to accept the award. Portland was the recipient of the Sustainable Communities award for its ‘Healthy Connected City’ network. As outlined in the Portland Plan, and implemented through the Comprehensive Plan update, underway now, the City is developing “complete neighborhoods” to give all residents safe and convenient access to the goods and services needed in daily life. In 2012, 45 percent of the Portland population lived in complete neighborhoods, a figure which the city aims to raise to 80 percent by 2035.

The city’s ambitious and successful initiative shows a unique and valuable pathway to sustainable, resilient, and low carbon communities.

Learn more about the other winners.

About the City Climate Leadership Awards competition:

This year marks the second collaboration between C40 and Siemens on this awards competition, which recognizes innovative city driven climate actions. Cities around the world submitted 87 applications. An independent, seven-member judging panel consisting of former city mayors, architects, representatives of the World Bank, as well as C40 and Siemens evaluated 31 projects in 26 cities as award finalists.

The City Climate Leadership Awards are part of a broader collaboration between Siemens and C40, announced in New York City in April 2013. In addition to the Awards, Siemens supports the C40 Measurement and Planning Initiative –an effort dedicated to enhancing each member city’s ability to measure data, take action and track progress towards self-identified goals. Siemens’ technical expertise is directly available to C40’s robust network of cities.