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Planning and Sustainability

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Signature projects

North Police Precinct puts energy into rooftop solar panels

In January 2017, the Portland Police Bureau added a new, 63-kilowatt solar electric system to the North Precinct police station at 449 NE Emerson Street, right near the intersection of NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and NE Killingsworth Street. This translates into a six percent reduction of power purchased from the electric utility and will save the Police Bureau about $6,650 in annual electricity costs.

The North Precinct installation is another important step toward achieving the City’s objectives for renewable energy generation it its operations. The 2030 Environmental Performance Objective for renewable energy directs the City to generate or purchase 100 percent of all electricity for City operations from renewable sources. The 2015 Climate Action Plan further calls for fifteen percent of electricity used in City operations to be generated onsite from small-scale renewable energy systems. The system at North Precinct brings the City closer to the target for onsite generation.

This project would not have been possible without the generous funding support of Pacific Power’s Blue Sky program customers.

Learn more about this project and other renewable energy projects at

Portland, the first Salmon-Safe City – a commitment for salmon recovery

Beginning in October 2016, all five City land and facility management bureaus committed to implementing specific projects and activities in the next 5 years as recommended by the Salmon-Safe Inc. science team. This commitment earned Salmon-Safe certification for City operations, making Portland the first city to earn this certification for the construction, operation and maintenance of City-managed properties, buildings and facilities. These actions improve land management practices and operations that help protect water quality and imperiled native fish. The five bureaus are: Bureau of Environmental Services, Water Bureau, Bureau of Transportation, Office of Management and Finance, and Fire and Emergency Services. Portland Parks and Recreation are also certified Salmon-Safe through previous efforts. Read the adopted Council Resolution or the Salmon-Safe Report for more information.

This achievement marks the first of eleven 2030 Environmental Performance Objectives to be reached.

LED street lights illuminate the night and save the day 

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is converting 45,000 street lights to Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. This project is the single largest energy-efficiency project the City has ever undertaken. The LED conversion will result in a savings of 20 million kilowatt-hours of electricity—cutting energy use in half and saving $1.5 million annually. The new LEDs are expected to last up to 20 years without changing bulbs or major maintenance. The project will reduce total carbon emissions from all City operations by about 10 percent.  

Eleven LEED-certified buildings and counting 

Portland's pioneering green building policies require all new City buildings and major renovations to achieve LEED Gold certification.  

Here is an example of one such LEED project at a Fire Station.

Biogas flares and creates electricity 

The Bureau of Environmental Services Wastewater Group reduces the flaring of biogas by using it to power, heat and supply resources to the treatment plant as well as to nearby businesses. The engine-generators supply about 40 percent of the wastewater plant’s electrical needs, and the plant recovers heat from water and engine exhaust to use in its anaerobic digesters. The treatment plant also compresses some of its biogas and delivers it via pipeline to a nearby industrial facility to use for process heating. 

The Portland Bureau of Transportation saves energy and money in creative ways 

PBOT has switched to using warm asphalt instead of hot asphalt in the majority of its paving projects. By switching to warm asphalt there is a 30 to 45 percent reduction in the amount of fuel used to heat the asphalt at the plant. This leads to reductions in air pollutants during the production process. Warm asphalt also produces fewer fumes, and has a longer service life.

Portlandia has green hair — an ecoroof blankets the Portland Building 

A number of buildings and structures in Portland have living, vegetated roof systems that decrease runoff and offer aesthetic, air quality, habitat, and energy benefits. There's even an ecoroof sitting high above Portlandia on top of the Portland Building. Learn more and see photos  

City Hall garden grows greens and sows knowledge  

Now in its seventh growing season, the former parking lot and grass patch has been transformed into a downtown oasis, where passersby can interact with the process of growing food and be inspired to create their own gardens.  

The City of Portland's fleet is on board 

The Office of Management and Finance's City Fleet won the National Green Fleet award in 2010. This maintenance shop takes measures to reduce environmental waste by: 

  • Retreading tires annually to reduce landfill waste.
  • Reducing lead purchases.
  • Recycling vehicle wash water.
  • Using as much B20 (biodiesel) as currently feasible.
  • Converting sedan fleet to electric vehicles to meet City goal of reaching 20 percent EV by 2020.

The office is also moving aggressively toward a goal of converting 20 percent of the City's sedan fleet to electric vehicles by 2020.  

Water conservation — a longtime priority for Parks

Most of the water consumed by City operations is used to irrigate parks. Water conservation measures have been in place and expanding for many years at Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R). To date, over eighty parks have climate based, centrally controlled irrigation systems. Parks plans to keep expanding the use of these controls and to explore new water-saving technologies as they emerge.