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ENN-3.01 - Sustainable City Principles

Sustainable City Principles

Binding City Policy





WHEREAS, the City of Portland recognizes and accepts its responsibility to support a stable, diverse, and equitable economy;  protect the quality of the air, water, land and other natural resources; conserve native vegetation, fish wildlife habitat and other ecosystems; and minimize human impacts on local and worldwide ecosystems;  and


WHEREAS, the City of Portland's Economic Development Goal and support document, Prosperous Portland, promote sustainable economic development that recognizes the job creation potential of maintaining and enhancing our community's natural resource capital base, and encourages development that reduces adverse effects on the environment; and


WHEREAS, the City Council and City bureaus have demonstrated their concern for a sustainable community through plans and policies that promote cleaner air and water, reduce energy and water use, promote recycling and solid waste management, reduce the use of the automobile and related air pollution, encourage the development of affordable housing, and provide basic education in all of these areas to schools and citizen groups; and


WHEREAS, in 1993-94 the City has increased the efficiency of energy use in City-owned buildings and facilities by more than 15 percent, saving $850,000 annually;  and recycled 250 tons of waste paper, 17 tons of scrap metal and 4,800 gallons of used motor oil;  and


WHEREAS, the City has adopted the Carbon Dioxide Reduction Strategy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2010 in order to reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming;  and


WHEREAS, an agreement between the City and Portland State University will result in an annual Urban Environment Status Report to monitor the state of the environment in Portland.





NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council declares the intent to adopt the attached Sustainable City Principles and directs City bureaus and agencies to integrate these principles into the City's Comprehensive Plan, and other plans that impact transportation, housing, land use, economic development, energy use, air quality, water quality and supply, solid and hazardous waste and other areas that may affect sustainable development.

City of Portland Sustainable City Principles


Goal:  City of Portland will promote a sustainable future that meets today's needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs, and accepts its responsibility to:

  • Support a stable, diverse and equitable economy

  • Protect the quality of the air, water, land and other natural resources

  • Conserve native vegetation, fish, wildlife habitat and other ecosystems

  • Minimize human impacts on local and worldwide ecosystems

City elected officials and staff will: 


1. Encourage and develop connections between environmental quality and economic vitality. Promote development that reduces adverse effects on ecology and the natural resource capital base and supports employment opportunities for our citizens.


2. Include long-term and cumulative impacts in decision making and work to protect the natural beauty and diversity of Portland for future generations.


3. Ensure commitment to equity so environmental impacts and the costs of protecting the environment do not unfairly burden any one geographic or socioeconomic sector of the City.

4. Ensure environmental quality and understand environmental linkages when decisions are made regarding growth management, land use, transportation, energy, water, affordable housing, indoor and outdoor air quality and economic development.

5. Use resources efficiently and reduce demand for natural resources, like energy, land, and water, rather than expanding supply.

6. Prevent additional pollution through planned, proactive measures rather than only corrective action. Enlist the community to focus on solutions rather than symptoms.

7. Act locally to reduce adverse global impacts of rapid growth of population and consumption, such as ozone depletion and global warming, and support and implement innovative programs that maintain and promote Portland's leadership as a sustainable city.

8. Purchase products based on long term environmental and operating costs and find ways to include environmental and social costs in short term prices. Purchase products that are durable, reusable, made of recycled materials, and non-toxic.

9. Educate citizens and businesses about Portland's Sustainable City Principles and take advantage of community resources. Facilitate citizen participation in City policy decisions and encourage everyone to take responsibility for their actions that otherwise adversely impact the environment.

10. Report annually on the health and quality of Portland's environment and economy.






Filed for inclusion in PPD May 20, 2003.
Resolution No. 35338
Adopted by Council November 23, 1994.