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Panel of local experts discusses the future of the Willamette River

In February, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability hosted two Willamette River symposiums to inform the update of the Central City Plan and the Willamette River Greenway Plan. The sessions helped to identify policies to achieve development, access and vibrancy along the river, while protecting and restoring natural resources and watershed health. The sessions build on the rich history of the 1988 Central City Plan, 1987 Greenway Plan, 2001 River Renaissance Vision and the 2006 River Concept.

The symposiums included representatives from the Federated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and the Siletz; property owners and business leaders; community and environmental activists; neighborhood representatives; state and federal agency staff; architects, landscape architects, engineers, commercial realtors; university professors and other professionals; and others who care about the river.

City planners are using the feedback from the symposiums to chart a course for the future of the Willamette River. They will present their ideas to the Central City 2035 Advisory Group on Tuesday, April 19 at 4 p.m., at 1900 SW 4th Ave., Room 2500 A. The public is invited to attend and comment.

The two-page guidance document begins with the following goal:  

Ensure that the Willamette River, and the land along the river, supports a diverse array of economic opportunities, community spaces and activities for all Portlanders, and a healthy, functioning environment in the heart of the Central City.

Over the next few months the advisory group will review and approve similar draft goals for housing, economic prosperity, mobility, civic and cultural life and other topics. Once guidance documents are drafted for all the topics, they will be released for broad public review and forwarded to the Planning and Sustainability Commission and then on to the City Council. The Council-approved document will guide the update of the Central City 2035 plan, the Central City Transportation Management Plan and the River Plan / Central Reach.

For more information on Central City 2035, please contact Elisa Hamblin at 503-823-9714. For more information about the Willamette River policies, please contact Shannon Buono at 503-823-7662.