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National experts on urban living offer inspiration to Portlanders

This summer, at events all over town, Portlanders shared their ‘Big Ideas’ about how to make the city a better place for everyone. Now, the Portland Plan is offering a series of presentations by nationally recognized “big thinkers” on issues of education, economic development, healthy communities, equity and nature in the urban environment.

The Portland Plan – Inspiring Communities Series kicked off on December 1 with  keynote from Dr. Robert Ogilvie from Public Health Law and Policy in Oakland, Calif. His presentation included facts about access to parks and healthy food and its effect on human health — ideas Portlanders discussed during Phases One and Two of the Portland Plan. He also presented statistics about the benefits of more compact neighborhoods and showed how more households per acre mean increased transit service and amenities and fewer gallons of gas and water consumed. He offered compelling ideas on how to design and build communities so the healthy choice is the easy choice. His presentation can be viewed here.

Ogilvie was joined by local panelists who are working on issues of health in the community, including Lee P. Cha (Immigrant, Refugee, Community Organization), Noelle Dobson (Oregon Public Health Institute) and Margaret Neal (Portland State University). The audience of about 100 Portlanders at Kaiser Town Hall on N. Interstate offered up some challenging questions for both the panelists and Dr. Ogilvie.

The following week on December 8, Judith Bell from PolicyLink spoke about fostering student achievement by providing “wraparound” services through an initiative she helped start called Promise Neighborhoods. The panel discussion following her presentation included PSU President Wim Wiewel, Park Rose School District Board Member Alesia Reece, Partnership Development Director for Portland Public Schools Lolenzo Poe, and Self Enhancement Inc., President and CEO Tony Hopson. Watch the video of that event here.

Dr. Julian Agyeman from Tufts University talked about spatial justice and inter-culturalism on December 15 at the Hollywood Theatre. He will be followed by University of British Columbia Professors Cynthia Girling and Ronald Kellett discussing designing for environment and the community (Jan. 12, 2011). The series will conclude with Bob Weissbourd, RW Ventures, talking about economic development (Jan. 17). View more event details here.

The Portland Plan – Inspiring Communities Series is sponsored by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the City Club of Portland and Portland State University. Presenting sponsors include the Bureaus of Environmental Services and Parks and Recreation, Oregon Public Health Institute, The Standard, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Multnomah County Health Department and the Portland Business Alliance.

Channel 30 is broadcasting the series. Watch a live stream of the remaining events. View more information about the series, the speakers and the panelists here.

Stay tuned as we finalize dates for the Portland Plan Phase Three workshops in early 2011!

The Portland Plan – Inspiring Communities series will make reasonable accommodation for people
with disabilities. Please notify us no fewer than five (5) business days prior to the event by phone
503-823-7700, by the TTY line at 503-823-6868 or by the Oregon Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900.