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Climate Change Preparation Strategy published for public review

BPS E-News, February 2014

CCPS chartThe City of Portland and Multnomah County’s new draft Climate Change Preparation Strategy  and draft Risk & Vulnerabilities Assessment have been released for comment. Technical experts, organizations, businesses and members of the public are encouraged to provide feedback on the documents before the Portland and Multnomah County council members consider adopting the documents later this year.

The draft materials describe how climate change will affect the region and what actions are proposed to improve resiliency and to protect communities. Through April 11, 2014, comments may be submitted online, by e-mail to or by mail to City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Attn: Michele Crim, 1900 SW 4th Ave., Suite 7100, Portland, Oregon 97201.

“The analysis and implementation relies on a strong collaboration between the City and County, and across City agencies,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “I just returned from the global C40 conference on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate risk. What I found is that cities everywhere face daunting impacts from climate change and we need to take a prudent, responsible approach to reducing risk and building resilience. I welcome feedback on the draft findings and proposed actions.”

The draft strategy and the companion background report are key deliverables from Portland’s 2009 Climate Action Plan. They explore the potential 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 explored in the strategy. The strategy proposes 12 objectives and more than 80 actions to build resilience into Portland and Multnomah County’s policies, operations, services and infrastructure over the coming years.

“We’ve already taken many actions that help us be more resilient and prepare for climate change. These actions benefit local air and water quality, protect greenspaces and create wonderful places for Portlanders to live, work and play,” said Susan Anderson, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability director. “We appreciate the longstanding collaboration among many local partners that will help to implement this strategy.”

Portland’s climate future is expected to be characterized by warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers with an increased frequency of high-heat days. The strategy names five distinct risks, including increased temperatures and frequency of high-heat days, increased incidence of drought and wildfire frequency and intensity, as well as increased incidence and magnitude of damaging floods and landslides.

“This strategy is an excellent example of the collaboration between Multnomah County and the City of Portland. Our Health Department staff are working to prepare for an increase of heat-related illnesses and deaths, mosquito-borne diseases, asthma attacks from poor air quality and

community's health in the face of these challenges,” said Joanne Fuller, chief operating officer, interim health director,MultnomahCounty.

“Certain populations, including low-income households, communities of color, linguistically isolated households, renters and older adults may be less able to prepare for and recover from impacts from climate change, said Claudia Arana Colen, health equity coordinator, Upstream Public Health. “I am pleased to see the needs of vulnerable populations prioritized, and expect Portland and Multnomah County to deliver on their commitments to these communities as they implement this plan.”

Developed by the City of Portland and Multnomah County, the draft materials 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.

Carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and from land use changes, including deforestation, are the primary drivers for 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. The assessment and the strategy are linked to the City of Portland and Multnomah County Climate Action Plan, which integrates the City and County’s work to slow the effects of 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, which was originally adopted in 2009. Visit Portland’s Climate Action website to learn more about the Climate Action Plan update project and other existing climate efforts.


Local businesses address sustainability challenges at Problem Solved

BPS E-News, February 2014

Sustainability at Work hosted its popular Problem Solved networking event on Wednesday, February 12. Local green team leaders and sustainability champions from more than 30 local businesses met at Bridgeport Brewing to tackle common sustainability workplace challenges.

“Problem Solved connects the people who are doing the heavy lifting to green Portland’s workplaces. It provides a platform to support and celebrate their efforts — which is what Sustainability at Work is all about,” says Megan Shuler, Sustainability at Work program manager.

The event kicked off with presentations from Hilary Alter from Zidell Marine Corporation, Nicole Baber from Reach Community Development and Tammi Connolly from Otak. Attendees laughed and nodded in agreement as these sustainability champions shared their experiences -- from having new ideas be met with resistance -- to being that employee who digs the recyclables out of the garbage can. Hearing how speakers ultimately achieved success sparked creative ideas and tangible next steps.

Following the presentations, attendees participated in small group discussions where they shared insights for taking sustainability to the next level and getting employee buy-in and management support. Michael Geller, Providence Health & Services Sustainability Manager, shared with his discussion group how he created internal buy-in for sustainability projects: "Point to the mission and core values of the organization and know your audience. This way you can show management why your projects take the company in the right direction."

Raffle prizes for the event were donated by Sustainability at Work certified businesses Hopworks Urban Brewing, Food Front Cooperative Grocery Store and Crown Plaza Portland Downtown.

The next event is scheduled for early summer. Learn more about Sustainability at Work at


March 13 is the next application deadline for Master Recycler training

BPS E-News, February 2014

Learn from the experts. Share with your neighbors. Take an eight-week course on the latest information on waste prevention and recycling. Then, promise to volunteer 30 hours to share what you learned with neighbors, coworkers and community.

Course details

  • WHAT: Clackamas County 8-week spring course and 30-our volunteer programs. Participants do not need to be residents of Clackamas County to register.
  • WHEN: DATE: Eight consecutive Wednesdays 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. starting on April 2nd and two Saturdays from 8 am to 2 pm on April 5th and May 10th. A commitment to attend all ten dates is required for the application to be accepted Spring dates to be announced.
  • WHERE: Clackamas County Offices, 150 Beavercreek rd., Oregon City
  • COST: $50 fee to cover course materials. Limited scholarships are available.
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 13, 2014 at noon.
  • Please visit for details and to apply.





Central City 2035 - West Quadrant Plan: From Concept Maps to Discussion Drafts

BPS E-News, February 2014

In the world of long-range planning, ideas evolve from principles and general concepts to more detailed area plans. Along the way, public input shapes everything from concept map layers to discussion drafts and finally adopted policies,land use maps and development regulations.

On Monday, March 10, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will hold an open house to present draft long-range plans for all seven subdistricts in the Central City’s West Quadrant as well as a Willamette River Central Reach Urban Design Concept. Portland Mayor Charlie Hales plans to attend part of the event in City Hall.

West Quadrant Plan Open House

Monday, March 10, 2013
4 p.m. ‒ 7 p.m.
City Hall Atrium

1221 SW 4th Ave

How did we get here?

At its December meeting, the West Quadrant Plan Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) concluded its concept development phase by approving the revised West Quadrant-wide Concept Layer maps. The project team used these maps along with extensive public input gathered through the process to create a set of discussion drafts for the seven West Quadrant subdistricts, including long range goals, policies and action items. Staff shared drafts for Old Town/Chinatown, Goose Hollow and South Downtown/University with the SAC in January; on February 18, the Pearl, West End, Downtown and South Waterfront drafts were discussed. Now that the SAC has reviewed the discussion drafts for all the subareas, project staff will attend a series of neighborhood and stakeholder group meetings to gather feedback as the drafts undergo revisions.    

In December, project staff also held a two-day Willamette River Central Reach Workshop attended by approximately 70 people, whose feedback informed the development of a draft Willamette River Central Reach Urban Design Concept . The public is now invited to comment on the design concept and answer a short questionnaire to provide detailed feedback. A summary report of the workshop is also available online. 

The March 10 open house will give peoples an opportunity to review and comment on the Central Reach Urban Design Concept as well as all of the West Quadrant Plan discussion drafts. The feedback received at the open house will be taken back to the SAC as it considers potential revisions through the spring. A proposed West Quadrant Plan, including the revised drafts, will then be forwarded to the Planning and Sustainability Commission and City Council for consideration this summer.

If you have any questions or comments about the open house or project in general, contact

Apply for the Youth Position on the Planning and Sustainability Commission

BPS E-News, February 2014

The Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) has a vacancy that we are looking to fill with a youth (18-25 years old) member of the community. While PSC terms are usually four years, this youth position is designated as a 2-year term, but it will have voting rights and the same responsibilities and opportunities as other PSC positions.

To continue to increase the diversity of the PSC, we are seeking a youth member of the community who is enthusiastic about innovative urban solutions, new technologies, community building and efforts to make Portland a thriving, livable city for all. The PSC reviews numerous long-range planning projects, and a youth perspective is especially important since today’s youth will be those inheriting our efforts. Engaging youth on the PSC provides a new perspective and opinion on issues that will help shape the future of the city.

The PSC has specific responsibility for the stewardship, development and maintenance of the City's Comprehensive Plan, Climate Action Plan and Zoning Code. The Commission’s main role is to advise City Council on Portland’s long-range goals, policies and programs for land use, planning and sustainability. Applicants should have a true personal interest and commitment to the work the PSC is responsible for overseeing. Typical time commitment includes two 3-hour monthly meetings, reading/preparation time prior to each meeting, as well as possible additional time on sub-committees.

Applicants for this position should:

  •  Be able to serve a 2-year term.
  •  Be between the ages of 18 and 25 at the beginning of the term.
  • Understand and support efforts to promote inclusion and equity.
  • Have knowledge of current Portland issues and/or government. (Preferred)

To indicate your interest in serving on the Planning and Sustainability Commission, please complete an application form and return it to the City's Office of Neighborhood Involvement at 1120 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland OR 97204. Please include a letter of recommendation from a personal or professional reference with your application. The PSC values diversity and encourages everyone who is interested in this position to apply.

Applications will be reviewed by BPS and Mayor's office staff beginning in March 2014. The Mayor will make the final selection and appointment.


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