More Planning and Sustainability News: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/28534
Green Roof Leader Named to President’s Council
MONDAY, SEPT. 23, 2013 – Vanessa Keitges, chief executive officer of Columbia Green Technologies in Oregon, last week was one of seven new members appointed to President Obama’s Export Council.
Columbia Green is a green roof development company whose technologies are based in vegetative roofs and sustainable functions that help manage water runoff and energy usage.
Keitges is President and CEO of Columbia Green Technologies, a position she has held since 2008. From 2005 to 2007, she was sales director at Site9 in Portland. She has held various positions at VoteHere Ltd., including European business development manager. She currently serves on the Oregon Zoo Wildlife Board.
Keitges received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Oregon State University.
She is one of seven people appointed by the Obama administration to the Export Council.
“This is great news,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. “Oregon is a leader in green thinking, when it comes to design and construction. I’m proud that the president reached out to a local Portlander for her expertise and advocacy in this issue.”
President Obama said, “I am proud that such experienced individuals have agreed to serve the American people in these important roles and I look forward to working with them to boost exports, increase competitiveness, and help our businesses grow. As we recover from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, our top priority must be rebuilding an economy where everyone who works hard can get ahead and I’m confident these well-qualified individuals will help us do just that.”
Repairs Begin on Springwater Corridor Trail
MONDAY, SEPT. 9, 2013 – Work will begin at the end of September to repair a section of Portland Parks & Recreation Springwater Corridor Trail, about a mile south of the Ross Island Bridge, which was damaged by erosion.
Beginning at the end of September – on a date to be determined – and lasting through the month of October, a portion of the trail between milepost 1.5 and milepost 1.75 will be closed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Monday through Friday. There will be no public access to that section of trail during these construction hours.
Many people use the trail for commuting and recreation. The trail will be open for use before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. on weekdays, as well as on weekends. Walkers, runners and cyclists should continue to use caution through the construction area.
Portland Parks & Recreation has been working on the erosion repair solution and trail restoration project since it became a problem due to unusually hard, prolonged rain and high river water in March 2012. The goal is to stabilize the slide and make the trail fully operational again, while taking steps to protect the riverbank. And to ensure that the bottom of the riverbank does not wash out once again.
The estimated total project cost is $650,000. Special thanks to Metro, which is contributing a matching grant of up to $400,000 towards the project. The City of Portland will cover the remaining costs, and has retained GeoStabilization International as the contractor for the project.
Innovation in Sustainability Awards: Nominations Now Open
MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013 – Sustainable Business Oregon’s Innovation in Sustainability Awards highlight the most brilliant and innovative approaches to organizational sustainability in Oregon. Now in its fifth year, the awards honor breakthrough ideas and technologies across seven primary focus areas: energy, equity, food, natural environment, transportation, waste and water.
Nomination and judging for the Innovation in Sustainability Awards are supported by Sustainability at Work, a program from the City of Portland, together with Metro, the Energy Trust of Oregon and Pacific Power.
Nominate a business, advocacy group or individual from Oregon or Soutwhest Washington for their sustainable business work: http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/nomination/55201. Nominations close on Aug. 30.
More information about the awards
Awards will be flexible; one recipient can be recognized for innovation across multiple focus areas. Nominees are asked to share measurable results for each area they apply in. Sustainability at Work partners will have an opportunity to review nominations for achievements in their focus area and provide their recommendations to SBO for the award, and will be recognized at the event for contributing their time and expertise to the process.
Column: Portland’s trailblazing Climate Action Plan
By Susan Anderson, Director, Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Because of its amazing natural resources, Portland, Oregon, USA, has worked for several generations to bring together what in many other places are often seen as competing goals – an economically prosperous community and a healthy environment. The progress in the last 20 years proves that this can be done.
Portland has been a national leader in the USA on urban policies and investments that have resulted in a prosperous, healthy and more resilient city. Often called the most sustainable city in America,Portland’s brand is both emulated by other cities and parodied on television in “Portlandia.” New urbanism, transit-oriented development, green building and sustainability practices were common tools in the city long before they had garnered much attention elsewhere.
Much of the work began in the 1970s and ’80s. As many American cities pursued an approach of expanding freeway networks and creating sprawl, Portland took a different path and focused inward. An Urban Growth Boundary was established for the metropolitan area to protect surrounding agricultural land and forests. Federal funding for a new freeway was redirected to one of the first modern light rail lines. This was built out over the years into a 52-mile light rail system connecting through downtown and the metro area, and a 15-mile streetcar (tram) system.
Much of the early focus was on building the community. The interstate highway was moved from along the Willamette River and replaced with Waterfront Park, bringing the community together instead of bisecting it with an impassable freeway. A downtown parking structure was torn down and replaced with a more European public plaza, Pioneer Square, often called Portland’s living room.
At the same time, a comprehensive plan was completed to balance and integrate goals such as economic development, housing, water and air quality, transport, parks and urban forests, and resource efficiency. The oil crisis of the mid and late 1970s spurred the development of the first local energy plan in the USA, which included specific actions to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy resources such as solar and wind power.
In the 1990s and 2000s, many new efforts were begun that focused on sustainable building, energy and water efficiency, recycling and waste reduction, bicycle infrastructure, solar and wind power, storm water management, and creating walkable 20-minute neighborhoods.