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With Council’s final vote on Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan, the community’s vision becomes real

When City Council voted unanimously to adopt the final portion of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan on December 21, 2016, it marked the end of era and the beginning of a new one.

Portland’s first Comp Plan was adopted over 35 years ago in 1980. That plan accomplished most of what it set out to do, and so it can “retire” with dignity and a sense of “job well done.”

Along with the award-winning Downtown Plan and Central City Plan it transformed Downtown Portland into a vibrant mixed use neighborhood.

It established Portland’s neighborhood associations as a core feature of the City’s community engagement approach.

It laid the groundwork for Portland’s environmental and watershed planning programs.

It provided the land use context for development of five light rail lines and two streetcar lines.

Back then, Portland’s population was 370,000, slightly over half of what it is today. The term “climate change” was not a part of our vocabulary, and sustainability was a concept you might apply to your budget, not your environment.

We’ve come a long way since then. There’s still work to be done to ensure that Portland is a prosperous, healthy, equitable and resilient city, but the 2035 Comprehensive Plan offers an even greater proposition than the last one.

As now former-Mayor Charlie Hales said as he cast the last vote, “This is no little plan,” referencing one of America’s renowned planners, Daniel Burnham. “It will mean that when we have 800,000 people living here, it will still be an attractive, green, livable city.”

New plan, new year

With Council adoption of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan, it now goes to the state for acknowledgement, with an anticipated effective date of January 1, 2018.

For more information about the transition process, please visit the Comp Plan Update website at: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/pdxcompplan