Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

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

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View Less

A better future — and a better today

BPS E-news Issue 9

Much of our work at BPS is focused on creating a better future — from long range planning for the Portland Plan, to e-news iconadvanced sustainable technologies, to charting the future for the Willamette River and our neighborhoods — but BPS is also very much about today.  Through dozens of partnerships, BPS works with businesses and residents to develop creative, yet practical, solutions that improve our everyday lives. Improvements that save money, promote a cleaner environment, build healthier neighborhoods and more efficient businesses.

There's plenty of good news in the here and now to celebrate:

  • The recently adopted River Plan is a major milestone that will ensure industrial development will thrive, while creating new opportunities to clean up and reduce impacts on the natural environment.
  • Portland's total carbon emissions, related to climate change, are now below 1990 levels, while U.S. total emissions are up seven percent.
  • More than 400 homes have been weatherized through Clean Energy Works Portland — with no up front cash from homeowners. (See story in this issue.)
  • And, in 2010 alone — another 400 homeowners have installed solar electric (photovoltaic) systems on their homes.
  • More than 19,000 people have been involved in developing the Portland Plan through workshops, surveys, meetings and events.
  • Portlanders are recycling 67 percent of total residential and commercial waste — TWICE the national average.
  • More than 2.7 million BPS website page views were recorded in 2010.
  • Portland has more than 100 LEED-certified green buildings.
  • And, we have a new 11-member, Planning and Sustainability Commission ensuring that health, economic prosperity, and equity are central to land use and future decision-making.

So we are heading in the right direction.

We are cutting costs for residents and businesses and finding ways to grow jobs while protecting the environment, and encouraging development of walkable, livable neighborhoods.

Thank you for your participation at home, in your neighborhood, and at work. Your actions and involvement do make a difference.



Susan Anderson
City of Portland
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

National experts on urban living offer inspiration to Portlanders

BPS E-news Issue 9

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.

Rethinking Holiday Giving

BPS E-news Issue 9

Many of us are looking for ideas to make our holidays less stressful, less wasteful and more meaningful.  The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability launched the Be Resourceful campaign to inspire Portlanders to “get more of the good stuff” in their lives. By shifting priorities and focusing on more experiences over stuff, we can enjoy healthier lifestyles and more time with friends and family.

The campaign links you to others who have shared their stories and to local resources in four categories: sharing things we need, maintaining the things we have, creative purchasing, and a shift toward experiences over stuff. This is our chance to think differently about how we shop and be creative about the way we give to others. By supporting local businesses and artists, we conserve our natural resources while celebrating the holiday spirit in a unique way.

Looking for ways to shift your thinking and purchasing around holiday giving?

Thoughtful consumption allows us to look at everyday choices and purchases that reflect our values and to consider the upstream costs of goods and services. By making small changes in everyday choices about purchasing goods and services, we can significantly lower our carbon footprint and create more local jobs.


  • Consider giving a gift of experience or a local service.

  • Discover creative, efficient ways to acquire the stuff we need.

  • Buy for value, durability and utility.

  • Spend more time with family and friends.

  • Support Portland’s arts, crafts and restaurant communities.

Get More of the Good Stuff in the Kitchen this Holiday Season

  • Eat Unprocessed Foods - Especially Fruits, Vegetables and Grains: Make sustainable food choices. Take advantage of the delicious food available locally: pears, apples, hazelnuts, and much more.
  • Reduce Wasted Food: Consider your guest list when preparing or ordering food so you’ll have the food people most enjoy in the right quantities.
  • Practice Good Food Preservation Techniques: Fruits and vegetables that you canned yourself make special gifts.
  • Buy Durable and Used Goods for the Kitchen: Reusable cloth napkins and durable plates and silverware make holiday meals special. Ask guests to bring their own containers to take home leftovers.
  • Prepare and Eat Meals Together at Home: Ask friends to help prepare food and then serve it family-style.
  • Grow and Share Your Food: If you have a winter garden, share your bounty with friends and family.
  • Reduce Packaging Related to Food: Control the clutter by bringing tote bags to the store, using durable containers and eating less processed foods.

Do you have holiday stories and ideas?

Share them at


Green Gift Guide

The Chinook Book Green Gift Guide offers you a range of ideas and choices for creating meaningful holiday memories. Shop local and for gifts of experience.

CC2035 Symposium Series: Your chance to learn, contribute

BPS E-news Issue 9

Portland’s Central City is home to thriving urban neighborhoods and the core of the regional economy. It is a resource for the metro area with a concentration of jobs, innovative cultural and entertainment destinations, bustling retail districts, urban universities and the Willamette River.

Continued success of the Central City will require our attention and planning. Central City 2035 (CC2035) is such a planning effort. As an update to the 1988 Central City Plan, CC2035 will address new challenges and opportunities to ensure a vibrant and sustainable Central City, now and in the future.

After two successful Housing and Community Development symposiums, Central City 2035 continues the CC2035 Symposium Series through winter, 2011. At these symposiums, you have a chance to learn about and contribute to the future of Portland’s Central City.

CC2035 CalendarThe development of a Concept Plan for the Central City is organized around six integrated themes:

  • Economic Vitality
  • Housing and Community Development
  • Urban Design
  • Mobility
  • The Willamette River
  • Civic and Cultural Life

At each symposium, a group of experts, experienced professionals and interested community members will discuss one of the six themes. Most themes will be discussed over two separate symposiums: the first will examine existing conditions, constraints and opportunities, while the second will focus on the development of tools for setting direction. City staff will synthesize this information, as well as feedback from intermittent Open Houses and Public Forums, to create policies, goals and actions for CC2035.

For more information, visit

The CC2035 team 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.

BPS by the numbers

Reflections on our work from 2010

  • 317 = number of diesel emission retrofits on Portland, Salem and Multnomah County fleets.
  • 300 = Number of stream miles mapped (50 more miles than on previous maps).
  • 26,360:  Number of acres of natural resource areas inventoried.
  • 368,277 = number of pageviews of Portland Plan website.
  • 2,654,846 = number of pageviews of BPS website.
  • 1,350 = approximate number of participants Portland Plan workshops (900 in Phase I, 450 in Phase II).
  • 51% = percentage of hours worked on the Clean Energy Works Portland.
  • program (through Nov 2011) by and historically disadvantaged and underrepresented workers (women and minorities).
  • 409 = number of homeowners have signed loans with CEWP that will enable them to save energy and make their homes more comfortable this winter.
  • 2.7 = metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year saved by the average CEWP home as a result of comprehensive energy improvements.
  • 401 = # of people who played the Portland Plan game.
  • Second largest city in the US to adopt rules to prevent the spread of "most wanted" invasive plants.  (In 2010 Portland joined the handful of cities in the U.S. (includes Chicago!), in adopting a customized, local rule to prevent the spread of our "most wanted" invasive plants.)
  • 0.5% = reduction in local carbon emissions from 2008 to 2009.
  • 2% = percent below 1990 levels carbon emissions were in 2009.
  • 94% of the Clean Energy Works jobs pay 180% of minimum wage or better.
  • 22% of the project dollars have gone to historically disadvantaged businesses.
  • 400 = number of residential solar installations installed, totaling more than 5 megawatts of electricity.
  • 67% = Portland’s recycling rate, twice the national average.
  • 8% = decline in total amount of waste generated, including recycling, from 2008 to 2009, reaching its lowest level in eight years.
  • 2,000 = number of homes participating in a pilot residential food-scrap collection composting program.
  • 750 = number of businesses assisted with implementing sustainable practices in their operations through the BPS Business Outreach Team (Recycle at Work and BEST Business Center).
  • 1 = number of new City websites focused on actions Portlanders can take to reduce their carbon emissions – Portland Climate Action Now! (
  • 1,400 = number of participants at neighborhood and community events talking about steps they can take to reduce their household carbon emissions.
  • 700 = number of participants in Urban Growth Bounty classes on organic gardening, animal husbandry, cooking and food preservation.
  • 1 = number of Community Supported Agriculture farms on City property, run by Nepalese immigrants in conjunction with Mercy Corps Northwest.
  • 10 = number of workshops conducted in 2009 helping Portlanders better understand how to track home energy use.
  • 750 = number of green building inquires responded to by the Green Building Hotline.