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Lent Elementary celebrates solar on Earth Day

BPS recognizes Solar Forward donors for contributions to Lent Elementary solar array.

Lent Elementary Solar Education

Educators know that solar energy systems are powerful teaching tools for school-aged children. Solar is a visible demonstration of science in service of sustainability. This is why the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and Portland Public Schools partnered to install a 10-kilowatt solar electric system on the rooftop of the Oliver P. Lent Elementary School music building.

On April 22, dozens of children, parents and educators gathered in the garden next to the music building to celebrate Earth Day and the power of the sun. Jesse Hunter, science teacher, garden educator and overall force for sustainability at Lent Elementary, welcomed the crowd and kicked off the festivities. A group of music students entertained the crowd with songs. Kyle Diesner, BPS, was on hand to present the school community with a commemorative plaque recognizing all the Solar Forward founders and donors.

Jeff Hamman, Energy Specialist at Portland Public Schools, told the crowd, “We know that this solar system combined with all the other great initiatives that are taking place here at Lent School will help provide unique learning opportunities and demonstrate to our students and the community our commitment to being both good citizens and environmental stewards.”

Lent Elementary Solar Panel

The Lent Elementary solar array is the second of three systems installed under Solar Forward, a pilot effort by BPS to test crowdsourcing for community-based renewable energy projects. The other two arrays are located at Portland Parks and Recreation’s Southwest Community Center and at Hacienda Community Development Corporation’s Ortiz Center.

 

City of Portland establishes Deconstruction Advisory Group

City Council will hear public testimony at June 3 Portland City Council meeting.

Deconstruction is the practice of dismantling structures in order to salvage and re-use materials, such as cabinetry, light fixtures, tile or support beams. These recovered materials can then be incorporated into another building, sold, or donated to material salvage nonprofits for a tax deduction. Deconstruction helps Portland meet waste and emissions reduction goals expressed by the Comprehensive Plan Update and the Climate Action Plan.

The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) has convened a Deconstruction Advisory Group (DAG) to explore options for increasing deconstruction activities relative to traditional mechanized demolitions, and to share expertise critical to making deconstruction work for Portland.The advisory group is made up of a wide range of experts including deconstruction contractors, salvage retail outlets, historic preservationists, developers, a recycler/hauler, the Bureau of Development Services (BDS), Mayor’s office, and Metro staff, as well as members of the Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) and United Neighbors for Reform.The DAG has convened four times over the past month, discussing a wide range of program options.

The conversation has focused on these key topics:

  • Incentives (such as expedited permits or financial benefits).
  • Minimum re-use requirements.
  • Health and safety of workers and neighbors.
  • The need to support industry education and training.

BPS will make recommendations to Portland City Council on June 3 regarding ways to increase deconstruction activity in Portland

BPS will recommend deconstruction incentives and next steps before City Council on June 3rd. At the hearing, there will also be an option for public testimony.More information about the Deconstruction Advisory Group, meeting minutes, calendar, and contact information are all available on the BPS website at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/67421

PSC News: May 26, 2015 Meeting Recap

CC2035 SE Quadrant Plan — hearing; Comprehensive Plan — work session

Agenda

  • CC2035 SE Quadrant Plan — hearing
  • Comprehensive Plan — work session

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.  

Portland is Growing Film Festival draws big crowd at Kennedy School

Portlanders can now watch more than a dozen movies by local filmmakers about growth and development in Portland

Portland is Growing film festivalOn Wednesday, April 29, 2015, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, in partnership with the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association, hosted the Portland Is Growing Film Festival at McMenamins Kennedy School. A standing-room-only crowd of about 130 people filled the gymnasium, including members of United Neighborhoods for Reform, the Albina neighborhood, and the local filmmaking community.

The event featured films covering a variety of perspectives on growth and development in the city. Through their lenses, filmmakers shared stories about demolition and infill, gentrification and displacement, coal trains, the Memorial Coliseum, bicycling, urban design and more.

Some of the highlights included Ruth Ann Barrett, who created her short video using her iPhone, encouraging the audience to “flex their civic engagement arm, not just their consumer arm.” Rick Potestio’s presentation about focusing growth around parks or “commons” met with some vocal resistance from the audience. Karina Adams’ plea for bird-friendly design was graphically portrayed in the movie she made as a student at Portland State University. And even a 35-year-old Douglas fir tree made compelling viewing as the audience watched it being systematically de-limbed and cut down.

Two films stood out as poignant reminders of how far we’ve come but how much more we need to do to address displacement and gentrification. Future Portland by journalist Ifanyi Bell and Kathleen Holt of Oregon Humanities features slow moving shots of Portland interspersed between interviews with several prominent African Americans living in Portland, who talk about the loss of community and connection when whole swaths of people are displaced. And Richard Wilhelm and Sue Arbuthnot’s digest of their full-length feature film Imagining Home about how Columbia Villa became New Columbia was a touching close to the evening.

If you missed the event or would like to rewatch the videos, visit the film festival page. Then enjoy the work of local filmmakers and hear different stories of Portland’s past, present and future.