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BPS E-News, October 2013
Interested in taking new approaches to this holiday season? Join local community partners and volunteers for the Be Resourceful program this weekend at OMSI’s Celebrate Sustainably on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. An interactive, family-friendly event, visit OMSI from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and learn how to save money and reduce your carbon footprint during the holiday season.
Look for our Be Resourceful team, who will share holiday information and resources. Learn about thoughtful consumption through creativity, local options and gifts of experience. OMSI invited BPS to partner on the event.
At Celebrate Sustainably, look for a diverse collection of daytime activities as well as entertaining stage demonstrations:
For more information, visit OMSI’s web page.
BPS E-News, October 2013
On October 15, the 2013 GoGreen conference focused on the triple bottom line, emphasizing the integration of social equity, economic vitality and environmental sustainability. Now in its sixth year in Portland, GoGreen was held at the Oregon Convention Center and welcomed over 400 attendees from businesses, nonprofits and government. The annual conference highlights regional leaders in sustainable business and fosters peer-to-peer learning across industry sectors. BPS’ Sustainability at Work program, together with the Portland Development Commission (PDC) and Metro, were presenting sponsors of the conference.
Cheryl Meyers, director of Economic and Business Equity in the Office of Governor John Kitzhaber, opened the conference by describing the state’s efforts to create and promote access, opportunity and connection for minority-owned, woman-owned, emerging small business and disadvantaged businesses.
Later sessions built on these ideas, through discussions around:
BPS staff presented on the following topics:
Mayor Charlie Hales’ keynote address highlighted how the City’s early work in planning and sustainability led to current sustainability successes including land use policies to create existing healthy, connected neighborhoods that:
Just as these early investments in urban livability have led to successes, the Mayor said, the City is now focusing on the challenge of advancing equity as a foundation for how it does business and where it makes its investments.
Sustainability at Work connects Portland businesses to free tools, services, and financial incentives offered by local nonprofits, utilities and city bureaus. The knowledgeable, friendly staff provide hands-on, personalized guidance to help businesses overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities. Sustainability at Work certification recognizes businesses – more than 100 so far - taking actions in energy, water, waste, and transportation. Find more information on assistance, resources and certification on the program website, or contact the program directly.
BPS E-News, October 2013
As temperatures drop and leaves begin to change, the 2013-14 Fix-It Fair season prepares to bring money-saving, health promoting, resource-conserving resources to three Portland neighborhoods. This season’s fairs will occur on the follow dates and locations:
Each fair is a free community event that will feature more than 50 exhibitors, plus workshops, lunch and childcare. Fairgoers will find resources for weatherization and energy conservation, garden and habitat maintenance, healthy eating, sound finances and more.
Two of the workshops you’ll find at the Parkrose fair in November are “Nature-scaping” and “All-season Cycling.” There is no need to register to attend the fairs or workshops.
East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation will lead the Nature-scaping class. Attendees may learn to make a low maintenance landscape that helps save time, money, and energy, while creating beautiful habitat for residents and local wildlife.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation will conduct the All Season Cycling workshop. Sure, it gets pretty wet in Oregon, but with a little extra preparation you can be an all-season cyclist. Join this interactive session as experienced riders share tips and techniques for staying dry, comfortable and safe while riding all year ‘round.
BPS E-News, October 2013
Local governments have always struggled to convince people to come to a town meeting — and especially night meetings in the rain!
In Portland, while we have a culture of vibrant civic engagement, it’s still hard to convince people to leave their home and show up for a public discussion. In response, we have created a new, technically-responsive and fun community engagement tool.
The new tool is the online Map App. It is one of the first planning tools of its kind in the nation. This interactive map was created entirely in-house by our geographic information system (GIS) team. As BPS staff share this dynamic and engaging web-based mapping platform with the community, I am happy to see the level of discussion and the new ideas that are being proposed.
Four years ago, the newly formed Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) embarked on a strategic planning process, including a goal to find new ways to engage and inspire the community. The Map App is one way we are delivering on that goal and walking our talk.
The interactive series of maps show the geography and location of various policy proposals. Visitors to the Map App can view a variety of maps, overlay information layers, see areas of concern or change, make comments and view comments from others.
With our vision for a prosperous, healthy and equitable city, and our in-house expertise, BPS has created an opportunity within the Comprehensive Plan Update process for our work to be more accessible and relevant to all members of the community. For example, in mid-October we brought together about 50 members from the Comprehensive Plan Policy Expert Groups (PEGs) to discuss issues that overlap in order to align potential solutions. For example, they could discuss such integrated trends and issues as the overlap among: (1) park development, transportation needs, and income, or (2) housing projections, population growth and transit.
The Map App can be used in group settings, or from the comfort of your own home anytime of the day or night. The Map App has been picked up by some of Portland’s most active blogs, while local journalists have been immersing themselves in the maps, revealing an appetite for the data-rich content.
Within the Map App, you can make comments and leave them for staff and others to review. You can also share your comments via email, Facebook and Twitter (@PortlandBPS), including the specific maps where you have left comments. This is really an unprecedented opportunity for all members of the public to express their ideas clearly and offer feedback from home, or at their neighborhood or community meetings, and at whatever time and place is convenient for them.
Of course, the Map App doesn’t mean an end to community meetings. We will still be available to meet with your neighborhood or group. (See the Comprehensive Plan story to learn about upcoming Map App conversations in your area.) I hope you will engage with the Map App soon. Play with the various layers; combine content and geography and demographic characteristics; and then use the commenting “pins” to tell us what you think. Thousands of people have taken a look so far, we hope you will join the conversation soon.
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
BPS E-News, October 2013
The City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability recently announced a new contest to promote its garbage collection day email reminders. For every 1,000 Portland residents who go to www.garbagedayreminders.com to sign up for the free email reminders, the City will hold a drawing to select winners to receive a prize of a $100 garbage bill credit.
The contest is open to all single-family and smallplex (two- to four-unit) households and runs from today through March 1, 2014, or until ten winners are selected. To sign up for the reminders and be automatically entered for a chance to win, visit www.garbagedayreminders.com.
The collection day email reminder system was developed by the City of Portland as a resource for residents to help take the guesswork out of which containers to set out on collection day. The free, simple reminders are delivered to the resident’s email the afternoon prior to collection day. To date, over 6,000 households are registered to use the email tool. The goal of the contest is to increase that number to 17,000 registered households.
“It’s one less thing to try to remember every week. I signed up for the weekly reminders because I got tired of going out to the street in my pajamas to see which containers my neighbors set out,” said John Vincent Lovell, a Northeast Portland resident. “Now, I get a short email the afternoon before pickup day, set out my containers and I don’t think about it again until the reminder comes the next week.”
When residents sign up at www.garbagedayreminders.com, they can also find information about what goes into each container, how-to videos on composting and more.
“Congratulations to Portlanders for reaching a 70 percent recycling rate citywide,” said Charlie Hales, mayor of Portland. “These email reminders are one more way to make green choices even easier.”
It has been two years since Portlanders started adding food scraps to yard debris in the green Portland Composts roll cart and switched to every-other-week garbage collection. Almost 80 percent of Portland households are adding their food scraps to the green roll cart, which is converted into nutrient-rich compost that is used by local farmers and community gardens. Since the start of the program, 156,000 tons of food scraps and yard debris have been collected and household garbage headed to the landfill has decreased by an additional 37 percent.