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Planning and Sustainability

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From BPS Director Susan Anderson: It's time for a new kind of plan — and time for you to have your say!

I am pleased to announce the release of the draft Portland Plan.

It's been more than 25 years since the City unveiled a new plan. Our last plan led the city to bring together transportation, land use, green space and people in ways that created a vibrant downtown and robust neighborhoods, instead of sprawl. We've shown the world that we can grow our economy, protect the environment and provide vibrant places for people to live. The new Portland Plan takes a bold step further.

Based on the priorities expressed at hundreds of community conversations and events over the past couple years, thousands of Portlanders told us that living wage jobs, successful students, social equity, a healthy environment and connected neighborhoods are top priorities.

The draft Portland Plan is a different kind of plan — more strategic, inclusive and integrated than anything this city has done before. Unlike most city plans, it goes beyond design and infrastructure and the way the city looks, and also focuses on how the City of Portland delivers on the things we care about most.

The plan is designed to:

  • Increase Portland's prosperity and affordability.

  • Improve educational outcomes and ensure training for all youth.

  • Advance social equity for all Portland residents.

  • Support healthy people, living in a healthy connected city.

The plan is based on:

  • Solid community wisdom: Garnered from more than 20,000 comments indicating top priorities and creative solutions to our most difficult challenges.

  • Partnerships: Among government, business, non-profits and neighborhoods and insists that government break down silos to align missions and resources to be more creative and efficient.

  • Facts: Including a four-foot high stack of background documents filled with knowledge pertaining to our residents, economy, environment and social institutions.  

  • Measures of success: So we can track our progress and hold ourselves accountable.

So what is in the draft Portland Plan? The plan includes specific policies and action items to help Portland:

  • Grow the economy and add more and better jobs.

  • Create housing and neighborhoods that are affordable for more Portlanders.

  • Reduce disparities, among incomes and communities of color.

  • Improve graduation rates and get people ready for jobs.

  • Improve the health of kids, adults and families.

  • Increase our sense of safety and overall well being.

  • Create a cleaner and greener built and natural environment — more trees, better air and water quality, and lower carbon emissions.

  • Promote greater access to complete, walkable neighborhoods — with healthy food, parks, shops, transportation options and other amenities.

The draft Portland Plan is more than just a big, bold, beautiful document. It provides a strategic path for us to work smarter, be both visionary and practical, bring government and business together, and provide for distinct and culturally vibrant neighborhoods.

The Portland Plan takes the big picture and brings it down to the neighborhood level. What we need now is for you to take a look and tell us if we got it right.  

So, please review the document and present your comments to the Planning and Sustainability Commission during the month of November. (Go to for dates, times and locations of public hearings.)

The Commission will consider written and oral public testimony in their deliberations and make a recommendation to the Portland City Council in early 2012.

Thank you for your participation.  

All the best,

 Susan Anderson sig

Susan Anderson
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability