Urban transformation/ sustainable city
Portland has demonstrated its leadership and commitment to an urban policy of sustainable development. The numerous plans and programmes launched in the past three decades demonstrate the city’s long-term vision and the commitment to institutionalise the sustainability policies, the results and the practices.more / less»
Portland was the first city in the United States with a global plan for reducing carbon emissions and in June 2005 became the first in the country to meet the objective of the Kyoto Protocol. In 2007 the city had more than 37,000 hectares of green spaces and more than 120 kilometres of paths for walking, running and cycling, while in only 10 years (1996-2006) the use of public transport rose by 65% and by mid-2000 the use of the car in Portland was growing at the slowest rate in the whole of the United States.
The comprehensive sustainability policy has a direct impact on urban habitability and on the quality of life of the city in general. The programmes are oriented towards developing public transport, creating green spaces, applying strict environmental requirements for public buildings and fostering educational programmes and incentives for sustainable practices, both in companies and individuals. The approximation to community-oriented planning hugely facilitates citizens’ participation. Outstanding among all the programmes implemented are the Green Buildings Programme and the VisionPDX.
The Green Buildings programme was launched in 1994 with the determination to explore strategies to standardise eco-friendly construction and to succeed in implementing them in the city thanks to technical assistance and incentives. In 2005 the programme set up the Green Investment Fund to support innovative sustainable building projects. Since then, and until 2009, some 425,000 dollars annually have been granted for public or private projects, which include from industry to homes or commercial premises. These subsidies have the goal of compensating for the additional cost that may be generated by the construction of green buildings.
VisionPDX, in turn, a community-wide programme without precedent in the city, sought to increase to the highest possible levels the participation of neighbours in the planning, and above all to gain their commitment to a process of inclusive vision on the future of their city. More than 17,000 residents participated, over 21,000 pages of data were collected and all this was summarised in a 300-page report that today has become an indispensable source when it came to drawing up the new Plan 2030 for Portland.
//Proposal by: Lucrezia Miranda