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Airport Futures promotes “generational fairness”

BPS E-news Issue 6

Airport Futures is a collaborative effort between the City of Portland, Port of Portland and the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan community to create a holistic long-range development plan for Portland International Airport (PDX). Part of Airport Futures is an agreement between the City of Portland and the Port of Portland to mitigate the airport’s impacts to natural resources and to enhance the overall health of the Columbia Slough watershed, where PDX is located.

The Airport Futures Planning Advisory Group was guided by the principle of Generational Fairness. Generational Fairness is a sustainability principle that recognizes the balance between the economy, environment and social equity of current and future generations. Here’s how it works:

From wetlands to grasslands within the airport’s diverse landscape there are many natural and man-made habitats used by a large assortment of plants and wildlife. Over the long term, development at the airport will impact these habitats and the species that depend on them.

In order to compensate for the loss of these important natural resources, the Port and the City are proposing long-range, far-reaching natural resource restoration and enhancement efforts in lieu of traditional environmental zoning, including:

-    Restoring up to 300 acres of upland grassland habitat on Government Island (in the Columbia River);
-    Funding tree planting away from the airport and in the Columbia Slough watershed;
-    Funding enhancement projects to improve wildlife habitat along the slough; and
-    Restoring and converting wetlands near the airport to provide high-quality habitat that does not attract wildlife that pose a threat to aviation safety.

These enhancements to the natural environment are some of the first of their kind for an airport in the United States. They demonstrate the Port’s commitment to environmental stewardship and to the sustainability principle of Generational Fairness. By making significant investments in natural resource restoration today, we are helping preserve and improve environmental health and quality of life for future generations of plants, animals and people.
Airport Futures is nearing completion. The Airport Futures land use plan includes changes to the City’s Zoning Code and Comprehensive Plan. Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the Airport Futures land use plan starting June 22, 2010, with hearings at City Council and the Port Commission scheduled for July and August 2010.

To learn more about the project, get notices of upcoming hearings and find out how you can influence decisions about the future of PDX, please visit

Grant helps extend home energy savings to more homeowners across Oregon

BPS E-news Issue 6

On Earth Day this year, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $20 million to the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) to create Clean Energy Works Oregon. This award will expand key elements of the Clean Energy Works Portland pilot program to other communities in our state, as well as add program elements for commercial buildings.

Clean Energy Works Portland helps homeowners finance and install energy-efficiency upgrades. The pilot offers homeowners access to low-cost, long-term financing for insulation, air sealing, and the installation of a high-efficiency furnace or water heater.  To date, Clean Energy Works Portland has completed more than 350 energy assessments, and over 130 homeowners have signed loans for energy-efficiency upgrades. These loans are paid back over 20 years on the resident’s utility bill, with energy savings helping to cover the costs of the home energy improvements.

Initially, Clean Energy Works Oregon will reserve funding for Hood River County, the City of Astoria, and the South Central Oregon Economic Development District in Lake and Klamath counties, the jurisdictions that were selected through the Oregon Department of Energy’s competitive process last fall. Clackamas County and the cities of Gresham, Hillsboro, and Lake Oswego will also be part of a Portland-metro program that will enable jurisdictions with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act energy efficiency funds to tap into a shared program.

Together, the residential and commercial programs are expected to create or retain 1,300 jobs over the next three years. These are not just any jobs – they are quality jobs with good wages creating highly-skilled workers with career pathways. To date, 65 percent of the pilot wages have been paid to minorities and women, and 73 percent of the jobs have included a health insurance benefit.

The success of the pilot is the result of strong collaboration among a long list of public and private partners who have worked together make this project succeed: the Energy Trust of Oregon, ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia, Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Multnomah County, Worksystems Inc., Green For All, and organized labor and community-based organizations.  

CEWP looking forward to working with Portland neighborhoods

Though Clean Energy Works Portland has attracted national attention, staff is looking forward to the next phase of the pilot collaborating with area neighborhoods to embrace and promote energy-efficiency improvements. Through a competitive process, BPS and the Clean Energy Works partners recently chose the Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good (MACG), in partnership with the contractors Chick of All Trades, Sustainable Solutions Unlimited, EcoTech, Balanced Energy Solutions, Faison Construction and Abacus Energy Solutions, who will coordinate a neighborhood-based outreach campaign to recruit 100 homeowners in the Cully neighborhood of NE Portland.

For more information on how to apply, visit