In the next 20 years, Portland will be home to approximately 123,000 more households and 142,000 new jobs.
Portland’s existing zoning and Proposed Comprehensive Plan provide more than enough room to accommodate future residential growth. This means we can choose the best places to focus or prioritize new housing. The recently released Growth Scenarios Report evaluates several patterns — or scenarios — against a set of criteria for new residential development.
The Scenarios Report evaluates both the expected distribution of future growth throughout Portland and the benefits from infrastructure investments identified in the Citywide Systems Plan (CSP) and Transportation System Plan (TSP).
The Growth Scenarios Report shows that Portland’s long-range plan for growth, coupled with transportation and infrastructure investments, makes significant progress toward the Portland Plan’s aspirational goals for 2035.
By focusing growth in vibrant centers and along bustling corridors, the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan helps us reduce carbon emissions, gets people closer to jobs, provides more affordable housing, and creates demand for stores and restaurants. It also makes better use of our existing infrastructure like streets, transit systems, parks and pipes.
As a supporting document for Portland’s Comprehensive Plan Update, the Growth Scenarios Report serves as an impact analysis of future development in Portland through the year 2035. Many of the criteria for the analysis come from the Portland Plan Measures of Success adopted in 2012.
Through extensive transportation and land use modeling, the report tells us how the Proposed Comprehensive Plan will perform against measurements for transit and active transportation, complete neighborhoods, access to parks and family-wage jobs, and carbon emissions.
Specifically, the report shows that the Proposed Comprehensive Plan:
- Increases households in complete neighborhoods by 10 percent (to 73 percent) by 2035.
- Reduces transportation-related carbon emissions by 60 percent from 2010 to 2035.
- Cuts per capita vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 27 percent by 2035. It also reduces the share of commuter trips in single-occupant vehicles as well as carbon emissions.
- Increases the share of commute trips made by transit, bicycling, walking and carpools from 39 percent in 2010 to 65 percent by 2035.
- Increases the amount of households with frequent transit access by 15 percent.
- Increases by 16 percent Portlanders’ access to low-stress bicycle networks, particularly in East and North Portland.
- Increases the number of households with convenient access to family-wage jobs.
Portland can accommodate future household growth and do it in ways that help meet our goals. But providing enough affordable housing, especially for the lowest income households, will continue to be a significant challenge.
The City needs to pursue a coordinated growth and investment strategy to meet its objectives. The growth strategy supports development in high-performing centers and corridors that already have relatively complete infrastructure systems. The investment strategy fills gaps in historically underserved areas to reduce disparities and increase equity.
Against a high bar, the Growth Scenarios Report demonstrates that the land use and investment decisions in the Proposed Comprehensive Plan gets Portland 75 to 80 percent toward our 2035 goals.
Public hearing at Planning and Sustainability Commission
The public is invited to submit testimony to the Planning and Sustainability Commission on the Growth Scenarios Report in writing or in person at a public hearing on Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Please check the PSC calendar one week prior to the hearing to confirm details.