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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

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Past, Present, and Future for Historic Resources

The Historic Resources symposiums for CC2035 explore key issues for preservation and planning.

As Central City 2035 (CC2035) moves forward, the Symposium Series is wrapping up with Historic Resources. At the first Historic Resources symposium on May 20, participants had a lively discussion. Cities are always evolving and taking on new meanings and forms. As such preservation and resources are key areas for discussion.

Participants discussed what is feasible, realistic and economical to preserve, and what types of stewardship should take place to protect the physical, social and cultural assets of the Central City. The meeting also touched upon other topics, including:

  • The need for clear design reviews and preservation guidelines
  • Preservation as a strategy for sustainability
  • Seismic upgrades for older historical structures
  • Incorporating historic buildings into places that are becoming increasingly dense

Topics covered at this meeting will be further explored at the second Historic Resources Symposium being held on June 17. The results of these symposiums will be incorporated into the development of a Draft Concept Plan for CC2035.

For questions of comments about the Historic Resources symposiums, contact Nicholas Starin at (503) 823-5837 or by email at

Materials from previous and upcoming symposiums (when available) can be found in the Current Documents section of the website.

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.

You're Invited! N/NE Quadrant Open House Event June 29

Review and provide feedback on draft concepts.

open houseAre you interested in issues affecting the Lower Albina, Rose Quarter and Lloyd District areas of the Central City? Please join us at an open house for the N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway/Weidler Plans.

See event details: Calendar | Printable Flyer

Based on ideas gathered at previous meetings and events, the project team has developed preliminary land use and transportation concept alternatives that illustrate how the area could develop over time. At the open house, these concepts will be on display and City of Portland and Oregon Department of Transportation staff will be on hand to answer questions, receive public feedback and discuss the project.

This is a great opportunity to help shape the future of the N/NE Quadrant of the Central City. We hope you join us! A preview of some of the information that will be presented at the open house is available now:

For more information, please contact Stephanie Beckman (City of Portland) at (503) 823-6042 or or Todd Juhasz (ODOT) at (503) 731-4753 or

From our director, Susan Anderson: Trees! Trees! Trees!

BPS E-News Issue 12 - June

In April, the Portland City Council unanimously adopted the Citywide Tree Project, milestone legislation to protect and enhance the city's urban forest. Portland's new tree rules will help preserve large healthy trees, while ensuring that new trees are planted as development takes place and old trees are replaced when they are removed.

Trees beautify our neighborhoods, enhance property values and support our local business districts. A large and robust tree canopy is essential to clean our air and water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as called for in Portland’s Climate Action Plan.

Collaboration and Innovation

The Citywide Tree Project represents some of the most extensive collaborative work the City and this bureau have undertaken to date. The project began as a response to residents in Southwest and East Portland neighborhoods who were concerned about the loss of trees to development. Builders and developers were also frustrated with sometimes inconsistent or rigid codes related to trees.

To address these concerns, City Council launched the Citywide Tree Project, assigning the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) to lead the project. The Bureaus of Parks and Recreation, Development Services, Environmental Services, Transportation and Water were active partners in developing a new response to tree regulation and improving customer service. The bureaus worked closely with the community to design a reasonable and equitable system to clarify the rules and enhance Portland’s urban forest. Portland’s Urban Forestry Commission, Planning and Sustainability Commission, and City Council worked closely with staff and community stakeholders to hone the proposal into one that works for both Portland residents and developers alike.

What’s New?

The project resulted in several key actions:

  • Create a new single point of contact for tree questions and publish a tree manual to make it easier for Portland residents and businesses to get the information and answers they need.
  • Establish new standards to improve tree preservation and planting on development sites, and create a streamlined, standardized permit system for tree removal.
  • Replace the City’s existing street tree pruning permit with a free “self-issued” permit that property owners can obtain online.
  • Consolidate the tree rules into a single new code title – Title 11, Trees.
  • The City will phase the project over a 3-year period to provide additional public information, education and assistance.

The Tree Project demonstrates the value of collaboration – City government, developers, residents, businesses and environmentalists all coming together to improve the system and ensure Portland has a healthy and dynamic tree canopy far into the future.

The Tree Project is just one of many efforts that City bureaus are making to enhance our community. See related story here.

All the best,


Susan Anderson
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Portland Plan Update: The Draft Plan is coming!

BPS E-News Issue 12 - June

Thanks for all the input you’ve given as we develop the Portland Plan, a long range plan for Portland’s growth and development for the next 25 years. Next steps? The finish line is almost in sight. Staff are refining the strategies rolled out during the Phase 3 fairs, incorporating public comments, expert advice and partner feedback.

The draft Portland Plan will be published in July, so you can check it out and share your comments at BPS staff will present the draft plan to the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) this fall. In early 2012, the plan will move to City Council for adoption. With integrated strategies focused on improving jobs, education, equity and our neighborhoods, this strategic plan will become the City’s roadmap for 2035, and will set priorities for the Comprehensive Plan Update.

Portland Plan team to present background information to Planning and Sustainability Commission
But before the plan goes to the PSC for review, there are important technical steps to take. Recently, an updated version of the Buildable Lands Inventory (BLI) was posted on the Portland Plan website. The data in the BLI is critical to understanding where Portland has capacity for more housing, industrial and institutional development. Coupled with regional forecasts for job and population growth from Metro, the BLI helps us determine where we should plan for growth. The BLI and other background information on housing, urban form, public schools, human health and historic resources will be presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission on June 28 at 6 p.m. (see sidebar ad).

City branches out with tree programs

BPS E-News Issue 12 - June

With the adoption of the Citywide Tree Project, the City has a new and improved tool in its regulatory “toolbox” to protect and enhance Portland’s urban forest (see Susan Anderson’s message). But other bureaus, like Water, Parks and Environmental Services are already working to improve the tree canopy and further the goals of the Urban Forest Management Plan, through programs that plant more trees, control tree-harming invasive species, and educate residents about proper tree care.  

Portland’s trees not only enhance the landscape by managing stormwater, mitigating temperature, improving air quality, providing wildlife habitat, calming traffic and softening the city's sharp edges, studies have shown that trees in residential areas can also raise property resale values and in commercial areas encourage shoppers to browse longer and spend more.  

Trees hold water to reduce stormwater runoff, as well as filtering air pollutants and providing bird habitat. Trees stabilize soil to prevent erosion, provide shade and absorb carbon to reduce the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Trees improve property values, and street trees can slow traffic, making streets safer for pedestrians, bike riders and motorists.

There are also many community-led urban forestry resources -- check out Tree Link.

Grey to Green: Transitioning to green infrastructure solutions

City Council approved the Grey to Green Initiative in 2008 to accelerate implementation of the Portland Watershed Management Plan. Investments in green infrastructure, such as bioswales, ecoroofs and green streets, improve watershed health and manage stormwater in a more natural, cost-effective way than sewers, drains and pipes. They also improve air quality, reduce energy consumption, enhance community livability and promote a variety of health benefits. A major component of the Grey to Green initiative is boosting the City's tree canopy by planting 83,000 trees.

Already, the Bureau of Environmental Services, in cooperation with public, nonprofit and neighborhood partners, has planted more than 23,000 new trees in Portland's streets, yards, highways and byways. “This is a great example of how the city and neighborhoods can work together successfully,” proclaimed Bob Pallesen, board member for the Concordia Neighborhood Association.

Thanks to the diverse set of partners, the Grey to Green initiative improves Portland's environment, invests in local green jobs, reaching all parts of the city. As the effort moves forward, the partners will continue to invest in Portland through citywide education and tree planting campaigns.

Where will you plant your tree? Check out to learn more.

Community Tree Inventory Initiative: Urban forestry helps neighbors take stock of their trees

There are nearly 1.5 million trees on streets and City-owned land, with even more trees on private lots. City Forester David McAllister recognizes that "it takes a village" to properly manage and improve this impressive tree canopy asset.

In 2010, the Bureau of Parks and Recreation, Urban Forestry (UF) Division launched the Community Tree Inventory Initiative. Working with neighborhoods to inventory their street trees to identify existing tree resources and management issues helps the City and residents:

  • Determine the location, species, size and health of trees
  • Identify locations to plant new trees
  • Increase awareness of the important role trees play in making urban environments more livable
  • Engage residents to help care for and protect existing trees
  • Develop a Neighborhood Stewardship Plan
  • Forge a partnership with Urban Forestry

Grant funding provided through the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation Service supported a botanic specialist and her team to work with volunteers in the Concordia neighborhood to inventory and collect data on all street trees. Portland State University students have analyzed the data, which will inform Urban Forestry arborists' specific tree management recommendations.

Having completed an inventory of Concordia’s tree types and conditions, Urban Forestry is gearing up to conduct street tree inventories for Eastmoreland, Sellwood-Moreland, Kenton, Overlook and St. Johns neighborhoods in the summer of 2011. Information about the Concordia Tree Inventory results, as well as opportunities to volunteer for upcoming inventories are at

The Urban Forestry (UF) program, in Portland Parks and Recreation, plays a significant role in reaching the goals outlined in the Urban Forestry Management and Action plans.


More trees on tap for the Water Bureau

Established in 1895, the Portland Water Bureau has proudly served clean, cold and constant water to the residents of Portland. In addition to the Bull Run watershed, the Water Bureau manages facilities on numerous city properties. Planting and maintaining trees and removing invasive vegetation on these sites are just some of the ways the bureau is supporting the urban forest.

Powell Butte: At Powell Butte, the Water Bureau has already planted more than 900 trees. After completion of the new Powell Butte reservoir, the bureau will plant approximately 1,400 additional trees. These plantings will improve portions of the existing Douglas fir/Western red cedar forest, provide forest cover around existing wetland areas, and establish an oak savannah landscape. This, along with the extensive planting of native ground cover plants, is expected to significantly enhance the wildlife habitat value of the butte, support migrating bird populations, improve carbon sequestration, and contribute to the natural environment of Portland. In addition, the Water Bureau partners with Portland Parks and Recreation on removal of invasive plants from the butte.

Kelly Butte: The bureau is developing plans to restore native vegetation as well by creating an oak savannah habitat on the south side of the butte and enhancing the Douglas fir/hemlock forest on the north side of Kelly Butte. This will provide habitat and environmental benefits similar to those at Powell Butte.

HydroParks: HydroParks are Water Bureau facilities that also serve as neighborhood greenspaces. In 2009, the Water Bureau partnered with Friends of Trees to plant 15 trees at Gilbert HydroPark, 48 trees at Hazelwood (including a demonstration fruit tree orchard of 17 trees next to the community garden), and two at Sabin HydroPark through volunteer neighborhood tree plantings. The Bureau is also removing invasive English ivy at many HydroPark sites.

Bull Run Watershed: Most of Portland’s water comes from the Bull Run Watershed, where the Water Bureau has an active invasive species control and monitoring program. Winter surveys of invasive English ivy and clematis (traveler’s joy) are conducted, with invasive plants being removed where possible. Defoliating insects, such as gypsy moth and mountain pine beetle, are also tracked, though they are not widely established in the area. Trees, shrubs and groundcover are planted in areas disturbed for construction projects. All of these actions help to protect the canopy and the natural ecosystem benefits to our city's water system.