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The Metro regional government projects that Portland will grow by 132,000 new households by 2035. What many people don’t realize is that Portland is already zoned to accommodate all of that growth. The critical question isn’t can we absorb the growth, but where and how.
With the release of the Growth Scenarios Report, Portland now has a starting point for the community discussion around growth.
What choices can we make as a community to ensure that every neighborhood has the services and amenities Portlanders want and need? The Growth Scenarios Report is intended to inform the Comprehensive Plan Update and provide people with a way to analyze different growth patterns, discuss potential impacts of alternative growth options, and make choices about how to meet our goals for a prosperous, healthy, equitable and resilient city.
The scenarios report relies on ax growth allocation model, created by BPS staff, to project the impacts of population and employment growth in different parts of the city. In the report, Portlanders can see how various alternatives perform against measures for access to jobs, transit, open space and amenities as well as watershed health and tree canopy, among others. They can also drill down and see how each district “performs” for each alternative with the same metrics.
Planning and building the Portland of tomorrow will be about making the city more livable, inclusive and resilient. The Growth Scenarios Report identifies some key directions for getting there.
Two Investment Strategies – Make public investments in streets, sidewalks, bikeways and retail areas in both existing neighborhoods that are functioning well, and underserved areas like East Portland, where there is an infrastructure gap.
More Transportation Choices – Create access to transportation options and provide for different ways to get around (walking, biking, rolling, for example) to create more complete neighborhoods and increase access to jobs.
Complete Neighborhoods – Increase the number and vitality of complete neighborhoods, especially in East and Southwest Portland, to help meet performance goals around human and environmental health, and economic prosperity.
A Central Role for the Central City – Support growth in and around the Central City to take advantage of the infrastructure, like transit and bikeways, already in place.
More Jobs for East Portland – Make more focused investments in infrastructure and schools to ensure people in East Portland are better prepared for higher paying jobs and better able to get to and from work.
More Affordable Housing – Provide enough affordable housing, especially for the lowest income households without displacing households from neighborhoods in transition.
Connect to Nature – Offer residents better connections to nature without harming the environment.
Information from the Growth Scenarios Report was shared at the Working Draft Part 1 workshops and will be available during the mapping discussions in Part 2, scheduled to be released later this summer. In the fall, the Comprehensive Plan Update team will be back out in the community again to share the draft land use maps and public investments. The public is invited to join the conversation about how to leverage land use plans and investments for the greatest benefit to the community, given fiscal realities.
For more information about the Growth Scenarios Report, please visit http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/449310.
For information and updates about the Comprehensive Plan Update, see www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/pdxcompplan.