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Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

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1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Growing up, not out

Episode 2 of Centers and Corridors video shows how Portland will grow

Last month we shared the first of five videos we’re developing about Centers and Corridors, Portland’s growth management strategy for the next 25 years.

By focusing growth and density in neighborhood hubs (centers) and busy main streets and boulevards (corridors), more people will have access to shops, services, restaurants, parks, jobs and transit. Not only does this create a stronger sense of community, it makes it possible for more people to meet their daily needs by foot, bus, MAX or bike. This in turn improves public health while reducing carbon emissions. Focusing growth in centers and corridors also means that Portland’s treasured single-family neighborhoods are preserved because new denser development will occur in discreet areas rather than scattered throughout residential districts.

Episode 2 describes the different types of centers and corridors, their features and benefits, and includes interviews with Portlanders who live and work in these vibrant places. Watch it now.

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

Public hearings for draft 2035 plan begin

As Portland matures into a world-class city, a more robust Comprehensive Plan will guide growth and development

It’s hard to imagine the changes that will occur over the next 25 years. Who would have thought, 30 years ago, that a car could drive without a driver, a super computer could fit in the palm of your hand or that an Olympic athlete would win gold by virtue of a high-tech jumpsuit.

Planning for the future requires more than just imagination, though. Portland’s new long-range plan for growth and development was created over several years, based on detailed research and analysis as well as vigorous community and business input and interagency collaboration.

The result is a new comprehensive plan that carries forward the best of the old one, infused with new ways of thinking about public health and equity, designing with nature and the environment, job growth and prosperity, infrastructure and public services, climate change and resiliency – all thoroughly grounded in preserving neighborhood character and the transit-oriented development that has made Portland a model city around the world.

Portlanders invited to testify on the draft plan

Comprising new goals, policies and a land use map, the proposed draft of the new Comprehensive Plan has been available for public review since July 21. An online Map App allows the public to view their property and/or neighborhood and comment on the proposed land use changes.

All feedback on the proposed draft is now being considered by the Planning and Sustainability Commission, which will eventually make a recommendation to the Portland City Council for adoption.

Portlanders are welcome to share their comments in person at four upcoming public hearings hosted by the PSC.

Comprehensive Plan Proposed Draft

Public hearings with the Planning and Sustainability Commission

Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 5 – 9 p.m.
Parkrose High School, Student Center
12003 NE Shaver Street

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 5 – 9 p.m.
Portland Community College – SE Campus, Community Hall
2305 82nd Avenue

November 4, 2014 at 4 – 8 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A

Portlanders are also invited to comment in writing in the following ways:

Send written comments to:

Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission
Comprehensive Plan Update
1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100
Portland, OR 97201

Email: (be sure to include the words PSC Comprehensive Plan Testimony in the subject line).

Comment directly onto the Map App at

What happens next?

The Planning and Sustainability Commission will listen to what the public has to say about the proposal at the public hearings mentioned above. After discussion and deliberation, they will make a recommendation to City Council early in 2015. City Council is expected to hold hearings and vote on the new Comprehensive Plan by mid-2015. They will likely hold hearings and vote on corresponding zoning changes by the end of 2015. After City Council approval, the new plan must be approved (“acknowledged”) by the State of Oregon. The new Comprehensive Plan Map will be the basis for future updates to the City’s Zoning Map and Zoning Code.

Women of Vision Conference presents award to BPS Director Susan Anderson

The Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce recognizes women who are leaders in architecture, engineering, construction and fields related to the building industry.

Susan Anderson, BPS DirectorBPS Director Susan Anderson has worked in the built environment industry for 30 years. This week, Oregon’s Daily Journal of Commerce presented Susan with a 2014 Women of Vision award for her leadership.  The Women of Vision Conference recognized 45 women in Oregon and Southwest Washington who are leaders in architecture, engineering and construction as well as in fields related to the building industry.

Portland’s first lady, Nancy Hales congratulated Susan, “Susan is responsible for many of this city’s great plans, including the first city climate action plan in the US. But what’s more impressive are her results. Susan’s efforts have helped the city reduce carbon emissions by ten percent!”

Read Susan’s bio here.

Be Resourceful's back-to-school series offers helpful ideas

Save time, money and resources.

Going back to school is a time that includes more stuff, more hassle and more stress. However, this time also creates an opportunity to rethink how you and your family prepare for school – from the day-to-day schedule and how you get to and from school, to the clothes, food and supplies they need every day. 


Below are ideas for things you can do that will help save time, money and resources.

Rethink how to get school supplies

  1. “Shop” at home, then make your list.

While the school year is already underway, there may still be items your child needs. It’s a good idea to sort through your old materials, reuse what you can from last year's supplies and know what’s around the house if a need arises. Make a list before you shop for school supplies because it will help you remember what you wanted to purchase and limit impulse buying.

2. Consider the whole product.

Buy products with more recycled content – paper with a higher percentage of post-consumer materials, for example – and less or no packaging. If the product comes with packaging, ensure the wrapping or container includes recycled content and can be recycled.

3. Buy reused school and craft supplies.

Visit SCRAP to help create DIY one-of-a-kind items for school, like pencil bags from fabric, zippers and found objects, or to customize last year’s backpacks by adding sew-on patches or letters. SCRAP offers paper of all colors and sizes, markers, pens, colored pencils, plus so much more.

For books and computers, consider used or refurbished ones. Many schools offer used text books to save money and reduce waste, or share your used books with friends, relatives or younger schoolchildren.

  • The library’s Title Wave Used Book Store offers a wide selection of books and other materials at deep discounts.
  • Free Geek is a great place to donate old computers and buy replacements, plus find other electronic equipment.

Swap and share clothes and gear

Host a clothing swap with friends and neighbors to share kids’ clothes, toys and books, and donate anything that’s left. Don’t forget about sports gear and equipment – items for school and recreation leagues can add to your budget. 

A clothing swap involves getting a bunch of people together to exchange clothes and other items you no longer wear, and offering them free of charge to others by swapping them instead. You can organize your own clothing swap with friends, or attend a larger event hosted by a school or other community organization. 

Two Portland examples are the Sunnyside Environmental School that hosts a Back-to-School Exchange and the Mt Tabor Soccer Gear Swap. These are clothing and gear swaps happening with the guidance of parents, neighbors and friends. These events are about reusing materials to extend their life, and also about building connections or meeting new people in your community. 

You may also choose to join one of the five “swap and play” spaces around Portland. Swap and plays offer an opportunity to swap outgrown clothing, toys and gear, share community play space and also connect with other parents and kids in your neighborhood. Portland swap and plays are membership organizations and vary in hours, activities, events and ways to get involved. All the spaces work together to provide a citywide membership option for families as well. They are Eastside Swap & Play, Harrison Hill Swap ‘n’ Play, Southside Swap & Play, St John’s Swapnplay Community Sharing and Woodlawn Swap n Play

Pack waste-free lunches

Choosing reusable containers, utensils and cloth napkins helps reduce waste while also promoting healthy eating habits.

  • Pack lunch in reusable containers or a lunch box.
  • Wash and reuse containers for sandwiches and snacks.
  • Choose durable bottles for drinks and fill them with tap water.
  • Bring your own metal forks and spoons and cloth napkins.


Change your routine

Options is the name of the game as you shift back into the school routine. How you get to and from school, after-school activities, sporting events and play dates are all times to consider alternatives and, as a bonus, offer ways to spend more time with family and friends.


Connect with other parents on a carpool for the kids to reduce pollution and trafficGre congestion while saving time and money. Use this free online tool to find carpool companions. Or talk to friends and neighbors to share in the day-to-day schedule and make the most of your time.

Walk or bike

Promote exercise (and get some yourself) and get quality time with your kids by walking or biking with them to school. Find maps to school, information and events through Safe Routes to School, or sign up for their newsletter.

Bike shops all over Portland offer repair services and classes, and help outfit you for the weather. Or come to a Repair Café (hosted by Repair PDX) to learn how to get minor things repaired for free.

There are many Portland-area resources to consider when getting kids ready to go back to school. Find these and more ideas to outfit your kids for school while saving money, time and resources in the Resourceful PDX blog.

In whatever ways your family chooses to get back to school, incorporating thoughtful actions that are good for you and the community help provide lasting effects as the seasons change and the new school year becomes routine again.