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Phase III Presents Draft Strategies for Portland's Future

Based on the feedback from thousands of Portlanders during the first two phases of the Portland Plan, Phase III presents integrated strategies for Portland’s future – with a focus on equity. Read more...

Strategies for Portland's FutureBased on the feedback from thousands of Portlanders during the first two phases of the Portland Plan, Phase III presents draft strategies for Portland's future.

  1. Equity
  2. Education
  3. Economic Prosperity & Affordability
  4. Healthy Connected Neighborhoods

Join us at a Portland Plan Fair in March to learn what actions are included in each strategy and share your thoughts as the plan takes shape. Full summaries of the strategies will be available online by March 2, the date of the first fair.

Each integrated strategy is a group of actions that address our most important goals for the community (that is, what Portlanders want to accomplish by the year 2035).

The strategies combine elements from a variety of disciplines, such as community health, transportation, education and others. They all aim to make Portland a thriving and sustainable city — prosperous, healthy and rich in opportunity for all.

The strategies in the Portland Plan will cover a 25-year time span, but they also include short-term actions to jump-start our work as a community in the next five years.

A Focus on Equity

Portlanders have made it clear that a long-term plan for the community must advance equity and reduce significant disparities facing our community in educational, housing and economic opportunities in a meaningful way – through concrete actions and legitimate accountability. But what do we mean by equity?

Whether because of race, ethnicity, income or the neighborhood they live in, many Portlanders increasingly experience challenges meeting their basic needs, succeeding in school and securing living wage employment. Inequities also affect people because of their age, gender, sexual orientation and physical ability. For instance:

  • 45 percent of the city's school age children are students of color, yet the graduation rates for Latino, African-American and Native-American youth in public schools is far below that of white and Asian-American youth.

  • Geographically, nearly a quarter of the city's residents live in East Portland, and per capita incomes there are about 40 percent less that the citywide average. In terms of access to transit and amenities, educational opportunity and public safety, East Portland differs significantly from the rest of the city.

What does an equitable Portland look like?

Phase Three of the Portland Plan presents a framework in which achieving equity is an overarching strategy and an integral part of all the strategies and actions in the Portland Plan — from education, housing and economic prosperity to transportation, sustainability and public health.

Join us at the Portland Plan Fairs in March to learn more about the specific actions in the draft strategies to address these disparities and create a more equitable Portland -- and let us know what you think.

Because as Portland evolves, what will distinguish the city in the future will not just be distinctive neighborhoods and thriving local businesses, it will be its ability to sustain all Portlanders regardless of race, income, sexual orientation, physical ability or age.

Come to a Portland Plan Fair near you!

N/NE Quadrant SAC #4: Meeting Summary

The N/NE Quadrant Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee held a successful meeting on Thursday, January 20th, setting the stage to move on to the next phase of the planning process - development of preliminary alternatives for the future of this quadrant of the Central City. Highlights from the meeting include:

  • The project goals and scope were finalized. These will be used to shape recommendations made by the Committee during the planning process. The scope sets parameters for what will be addressed by this project.
  • A preliminary set of Issues, Opportunities and Constraints in the planning area were presented by staff and discussed by committee members. This information represents a synthesis of input received from a broad range of stakeholders, including feedback collected at public events.
  • A discussion of the next phase of the planning process, which will result in preliminary concept alternatives about how the quadrant should grow and change over the next 25 years. Preliminary concepts are expected to be ready for public review and discussion in May.

The meeting agenda and materials are available here. Full notes from the meeting will also be available on the Stakeholder Advisory Committee's (SAC) page on once they're approved at the next SAC meeting.

Upcoming meetings include joint meetings of the Land Use and Transportation Subcommittees on February 9 and March 2 (tentative), and the full SAC on March 10. See the calendar for times and locations.

Special thanks to the Calaroga Terrace Retirement Community, which donated the meeting space and refreshments for this meeting. Calaroga Terrace is located within the N/NE Quadrant Project's planning area.

Portland City Council considers overhaul of tree regulations

February 2 hearing gives Portlanders a chance to comment on new proposal to protect trees

In response to neighborhood concerns about the state of Portland's tree rules and loss of trees to development, the Portland City Council launched the Citywide Tree Project in 2007.

On Wednesday, February 2 at 6 p.m., City Council will hold a public hearing on the Citywide Tree Policy Review and Regulatory Improvement Project (a.k.a. "Citywide Tree Project"). Council will consider the recommendations of the Urban Forestry Commission and Portland Planning Commission (now the Planning and Sustainability Commission), as well as input from Portland residents and community organizations.

Working closely with community stakeholders for more than three years, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) led a multi-bureau effort to review and revamp the existing rules for trees.

Last year, the Portland Planning Commission and Urban Forestry Commission held a public hearing on an initial draft proposal.  The commissions heard broad community support for stronger tree protection and replacement requirements. Developers expressed concern about the potential impact of the rules on project cost and housing affordability. 

The two commissions subsequently worked with City bureaus to further hone and streamline the proposal. As a result, the proposal before the City Council:

  • Consolidates the city's tree rules into a single new code title, which makes them easier to find, understand and administer.
  • Strengthens tree preservation and planting requirements the City applies when new development is proposed.
  • Includes specific exemptions and added flexibility to minimize development costs and make it easier to preserve trees on development sites. 
  • Standardizes and streamlines the existing tree permit system to encourage retention of large healthy trees where practical, and to ensure that larger trees are replaced when removed anywhere in the city.
  • Provides for enhanced customer service through a single point of contact for public inquiries and permit processing, a 24-hour tree hotline and a community tree manual.

"The City estimates that the Tree Project proposal will generate more than 100 acres of future tree canopy per year," states Susan Anderson, director of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, "helping to clean air and water, capture greenhouse gases, reduce energy demand and improve overall quality of life for Portlanders."

"There were certainly challenges with the existing tree code," writes David Nielsen, chief executive officer of the Homebuilders Association of Metro Portland, in a letter to City Council dated Jan. 24, 2011. "One of the goals of this process, as outlined by BPS, was to establish a clear, cohesive, consistent regulatory framework. I believe much progress was made to that end and that our few remaining, but very important, policy and code issues can be addressed to provide a better balance between tree preservation and development needs."

A "natural capital asset," Portland's trees provide benefits worth millions of dollars per year, and their replacement value is roughly $5 billion, according to a recent Portland Parks and Recreation Bureau study. Other studies show that neighborhood trees can increase home resale values, lower crime rates and improve physical and mental health.

In response to the fiscal constraints both the public and private sectors are facing, the Planning and Urban Forestry commissions recommended that the City Council phase the implementation of the proposal to provide time to ramp up, conduct public outreach, train staff, and manage and sequence project costs. 

"Regulations are one important tool, and this is a step in the right direction," says City Forester David McAllister, "but the City also needs to invest in public education, technical assistance, planting and maintenance to sustain the urban forest."

"Given expected population growth," Audubon Society's Conservation Director Bob Sallinger points out, "Portland needs stronger tools to preserve and refresh that canopy through the development process . What's on the books won't cut it."

"Dramatic increases in tree planting efforts over the past decade are a positive step toward increasing Portland's tree canopy," says Scott Fogarty, executive director of Friends of Trees and member of the project stakeholder committee. "But it's not enough. The City needs a strong regulatory framework to preserve and enhance the trees we already have." 

To read the Citywide Tree Project Recommended Draft to City Council, including a new project summary, please go to An updated set of frequently asked questions (FAQ) is also available. If you have trouble accessing the online documents, please request a CD or a set of report documents at the phone number and email address below.

For more information, please call 503.823.7855 or email

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