Portland, Oregon is 80 miles (130 kilometers) inland from the Pacific Ocean, at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Originally the home of several Native American tribes who lived peacefully off of the abundance of the land and water, Portland has been settled, planned, and built by trailblazers from many regions of the world. In Portland, you will experience a temperate climate where a lush mountain and forest landscape gently enfolds a city alive with hope and pride in its natural environment and frontier heritage.
In this city of eccentricities, fanciful touches harmonize with a reverence for nature, giving Portland an uncommon flair. Where else can you find sidewalks paved with famous quotes, more microbreweries and brewpubs than any other city in the United States, a bevy of coffee shops selling unique Northwest blends, and the country’s largest independent bookstore, blanketing a city block with more than a million volumes?
Pedestrian-friendly streets and small city blocks encourage touring on foot – a great way to discover Portland. Visitors will enjoy the convenience of the Portland Streetcar line that now reaches the Willamette River and the innovative MAX light rail system that extends to the Portland Airport.
Parks abound in Portland’s landscape and weave Oregon’s natural beauty into the fabric of the urban landscape. Spend a day at Washington Park, home to the famous International Rose Test Garden, the Oregon Zoo and the stunning Japanese Garden. A stroll or bike ride along the new Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade is a must for spectacular views of the vibrant riverfront bustling with big ships, wildlife, and recreational boaters.
A vibrant arts scene, great dining choices, tax-free shopping, and proximity to limitless outdoor recreation are just a few of the many features that make Portland one of the most livable cities in North America.
About Planning In Portland
Portland, Oregon is a city well known for innovative urban planning approaches. A 30- year-old statewide planning program, an elected regional government, and Portland’s practice of community dialogue have achieved remarkable results in growth management, transportation options, and collaborative public/private development. Small blocks and miles of sidewalks make Portland a very pedestrian-friendly place and have earned it the nickname “Most European City in North America.” With nearly 40 certified “green” buildings, Portland is a national leader in sustainable development. Portland’s River Renaissance initiative integrates city and nature by directing resources along the Willamette River in an effort to balance the needs of people and wildlife through environmentally sensitive urban design and development.
A special Orientation Tour of Portland was prepared for the IFHP Spring Conference 2005. The booklet includes many interesting facts and some Portland history along with the tour route.