May issue of Comprehensive Plan Update E-news published
Highlights include District Mapping Conversations, profile of the Industrial Land and Watershed Health Working Group and summer outreach efforts
May 16, 2013
April issue of the Comprehensive Plan Update E-news is out
Comprehensive Plan vs. Portland Plan: What's the Diff? | Part 1 Workshop Recap | Policy Survey Closes May 1 | Getting Ready for Part 2 | PEG Updates
April 16, 2013
My Portland Plan: How is the Portland Plan being implemented through the Comprehensive Plan?
Recently, Portland residents have been asking Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) staff what it means to say the Comprehensive Plan is a Portland Plan implementation project. Others wonder why we need the Comprehensive Plan if we have the Portland Plan.
The Portland Plan, which was adopted by the City Council in 2012, is a strategic plan that provides the public and decision-makers a way to evaluate budget requests and proposed projects against citywide goals.
It highlights four focus areas: equity, education, prosperity and health. Each focus area has a strategy, which includes policies to guide how the City approaches work in that area, and a list of potential actions to take over the next five years.
The Portland Plan was adopted by a resolution. Plans adopted by resolutions serve as a guide for future government action and are not legally binding.
The Comprehensive Plan, however, must be adopted by an ordinance; plans adopted by ordinance are binding.
The Comprehensive Plan is a state-mandated plan to prepare for expected population and job growth as well as infrastructure investments. It will also guide the City’s community engagement practices to ensure inclusion, transparency and equity in the decision-making process around key priorities.
Staff used an open-ended and flexible process during the creation of the Portland Plan to gather feedback from thousands of residents to help shape the future direction of our city. The Comprehensive Plan builds on that input, as well as lessons learned about community involvement.
In addition to new, more detailed policies, the draft Comprehensive Plan includes many of the policies from the Portland Plan Guiding Policies. Once adopted, these will all become binding and guide land use, transportation and investment decisions for the next 20 years.
Key concepts from the Portland Plan are incorporated throughout the draft Comprehensive Plan:
As a legally binding policy document, the Comprehensive Plan is an important implementation tool of the Portland Plan.
April 8, 2013
Comprehensive Plan Update E-News, March 2013
Portlanders speak up at community workshops | Policy survey available online | The Comp Plan: Then & Now | Getting ready for Part 2 | PEG feedback and updates
March 14, 2013
Comprehensive Plan Update E-News, February 2013
Community workshops run through Mar 14, breakout sessions described; online survey offers another chance to comment; PEG updates
March 5, 2013
Comprehensive Plan Update E-news, January 2013
Working Draft Part 1 released, community workshops announced, PEG updates
March 6, 2013
My Portland Plan: What Makes a Neighborhood Complete?
A “complete neighborhood” is an area where residents have safe and convenient access to goods and services they need on a daily or regular basis. This includes a range of housing options, grocery stores and other neighborhood-serving commercial services; quality public schools; public open spaces and recreational facilities; and access to frequent transit. In a complete neighborhood, the network of streets and sidewalks is interconnected, which makes walking and bicycling to these places safe and relatively easy for people of all ages and abilities.
Why measure complete neighborhoods? Having safe, convenient and walkable access to schools, parks, grocery stores and transit can help Portlanders save money and stay healthy. For example, lower transportation costs help reduce overall household costs and increase housing affordability. And incorporating daily exercise is a lot easier with a safe network of sidewalks outside your door.
Today, fewer than half of Portlanders live in complete neighborhoods. By 2035, the City aims for 80 percent of Portlanders to be living in complete neighborhoods. The “heat map” below shows Portland’s neighborhoods in varying stages of “completeness”; the cooler colors in purple and blue (note outer East Portland, Southwest and the West Hills) have fewer amenities and safe streets, whereas the inner eastside neighborhoods in warm reds, oranges and yellows offer greater access to both.
The “20-minute neighborhood” index measures access to everyday goods, services and amenities. The “heat map” shows the range of accessibility.
February 26, 2013
My Portland Plan: How Baby-Boomers and Millennials Might Be Tipping the Scale Toward Even More Active Transportation Use
In a previous post, we discussed how Portlanders in the past few decades have steadily shifted their preferred way of commuting to work away from driving alone to more active transportation options. Recall in 1990, 68 percent of commuters drove alone to work. By 2000, that number was down to 64 percent. In 2011, less than 60 percent of Portland workers were driving alone to work.
In this follow-up post, we’ll discuss how that trend will most likely continue over the next few decades, given demographic trends. And keep Portland on track towards its goal: by 2035, 70 percent of commuters will either take transit, bike, walk, telecommute or carpool.
Portland is on the path towards that future, but much work still must be done. The good news is, we have demographics on our side. Over the next few decades, the scales may tip with the preferences of the baby boomers and their children — the Millennials — of the later 1970s, 80s, 90s and early 2000s.
Combined, they are the largest population group. And their preferences will shape the mobility landscape in the years to come.
Just as boomers’ preference for driving shaped the development of the country over the last forty to fifty years, so too, as they age, will their increasing preference to take transit shape how the urban landscape evolves. Their children, who make up an even larger group than the boomers, will have a similar impact, if not more.
How these demographic groups choose to live and get around will have an impact on all Portlanders.
The American Assocation of Retired Persons recently reported that as baby boomers move into retirement age and older, driving will continue to steadily decline as an option for getting around. And more and more seniors will increasingly depend on a variety of public transportation options.
On the other end of the age spectrum, fewer teens, 20-somethings and early 30-somethigs are falling in love with the car culture. Fewer young people are getting their driver’s license. Researchers and various media report that between half and two-thirds of 18-year olds had their driving licenses in 2008; in 1983, more than 80 percent had their licenses. And they’re buying fewer cars.
Millenials also don’t mind getting around by transit, walking or biking. Carpooling and even car-sharing is an acceptable alternative. Owning a car is not out of the question, so long as they do not have to spend so much of their income on a monthly payment.
Millenials also prefer — even demand — a more urban lifestyle. They tend to want something different from the suburban way of life of their parents’ generation. Most young workers today want to live in a more urban setting.
And more and more, too, Millenials are choosing to live alone (or with a dog). Thus, the trend is towards smaller and smaller households that demand less space.
Given these demographic trends, a variety of policies will need to be put in place to address mobility and access services and the complementary land use activities that reinforce such services. To be sure, over the long run, investment in public transportation to make it more accessible to seniors will also benefit young working adults. And building communities that invite more transit use, walking and bicycling, while also supporting affordable and inclusive housing options, will help spread the benefits of good living to all Portlanders.
Given these preferences of the two largest population cohorts, it should be no surprise, then, that a high probability of better quality urbanism is in all of our futures.
January 8, 2013
Comprehensive Plan Update E-news, December 2012
Holiday outreach; Working Draft release date; February and March workshop dates; web stats; PEG updates
December 14, 2012
My Portland Plan: Active Transportation Gradually Becoming the Preferred Commute Choice for Portlanders
Portlanders are increasingly choosing to take transit, walk or ride a bike to work. A fair number are even bypassing the commute altogether and working from home. By including workers who carpool, about 40 percent of workers are getting to work without driving alone in a car.
In 1990, 68 percent of commuters drove alone to work. By 2000, that number was down to 64 percent. As of 2011, less than 60 percent of Portland workers are driving alone to work, whereas the regional average is above 70 percent, and the national average is over 75 percent.
2011 Portland (City Only) Commuting Characteristics
Source: 2009-2011 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimate.
For Portland, the steady decline in driving alone to work — about 4 percent per decade — can, in part, be attributed to better infrastructure that makes it easier for people to choose active transportation options.
Most notably, from 1990 to 2010 commuting by bicycle increased from 1 percent to 6 percent. In 1996, fewer than 150 miles of bikeway facilities existed in the city. By 2008,Portlandhad more than 300 miles of bikeways.
While walking stayed relatively the same during that period (around 5 percent), transit use increased from 10 to 12 percent. And working from home more than doubled, from 3 percent to 7 percent.
While the City continues to make progress, its goal is for 70 percent of commuters to either take transit, bike, walk, telecommute or carpool in the next two to three decades.
This is a daunting challenge, but it is possible. Some cities are already there. We can learn from them and find inspiration in what they’ve done not only to address sustainable transport — but equitable mobility as well.
From Berlin to Beijing, Copenhagen to Curitiba, Bogota to Zurich, Dresden to Shanghai, Barcelona to Paris, and even New York City to Amsterdam — all of these cities have urban forms and transportation systems that cultivate a way of living that makes it easier to get around in ways other than by private automobile.
For Portland to do the same, we would do well to study, and perhaps even apply, some of their tools and programs. These actions increase social capital and improve overall mobility and access for all while reducing greenhouse gases.
November 29, 2012
Comprehensive Plan Update E-News, November 2012
Overview of parking study, CPU working draft, industrial lands and watershed health working group; disaster planning; and Policy Expert Groups update
November 13, 2012
New zoning along SE 122nd Ave will improve livability, economic vitality in outer SE Portland
City Council adopts the SE 122nd Ave Rezoning Project on October 17
November 6, 2012
Comprehensive Plan Update Enews, October 2012
Latest updates on the “factual basis,” parking study and forum, community involvement survey, Policy Expert Groups and more
October 18, 2012
My Portland Plan: Portland is Growing More Diverse
Portland is often characterized as a “white” city, and it’s true. The largest segment of the city’s population is white. But since 1980, the demographic makeup of the city has increasingly become more diverse. In 1980, the white population was more than 80 percent of the city’s total population; by 2010 it was a little over 70 percent of the population.
Over the last 30 years, Portland’s population has grown from roughly 370,000 to 584,000. And with that growth has come diversity, which is not too different from the national trend.
The most notable increases have occurred among Hispanics and Asians. In 1980 they each made up less than 3 percent of the population. In 2010, Hispanics were more than 10 percent of the population — an eight-fold increase overall — and Asians 7 percent, nearly a four-fold increase.
Increases in the Black population over the last 30 years have been much less dramatic. While they have grown in absolute numbers, the increase has been comparably small; just under 8,000 people in 30 years. Blacks in 2010 make up 6 percent of the population, down from 7.1 percent in 1980.
The Native American and Alaskan Native population and Other race groups have also contributed to Portland’s growing diversity. Changes in reporting (“some other race” was introduced in 2000) contributed to the large increase between 1990 and 2000. Combined, the NA-AN and Other race groups account for about 5 percent of the city’s population in 2010. But the proportions may be actually slightly higher. According to members of the Native American communities, Native Americans may be undercounted in the Census. According to “The Native American Community” profile that is part of the Communities of Color reports, a community-verified population count — explorations into the actual numbers — suggests the community may be undercounted by nearly 50 percent in Multnomah County.
In absolute numbers, the white population has had the largest amount of growth, an increase of over 100,000. But their proportion of total population has decreased as all other groups have grown proportionally.
So Portland is arguably becoming a more diverse city. While still not as diverse as other places in the country, the city is on a trajectory to become much more culturally, racially and ethnically diverse. It just may take some time —perhaps a generation or two.
October 1, 2012
Portland Plan Shapes New Plans for Central City
The Portland Plan is being implemented through two new plans heading to the Planning and Sustainability Commission for a public hearing tomorrow, Sept. 11, starting at 1:30 p.m. The Central City 2035 Concept Plan and the N/NE Quadrant Plan were developed under the guiding framework of the Portland Plan and represent the application of the City's new strategic plan to a district plan and smaller subareas.
The CC2035 Concept Plan positions the Central City as the region's Center for Innovation and Exchange, and the final plan will give the City and partner agencies a blueprint for future investment -- much like the 1972 Downtown Plan and the 1988 Central City Plan. The NE Quadrant Plan is actually two integrated plans that address community needs for economic development, improved mobility and transportation safety, and healthy and vibrant communities in the Lower Albina and Lloyd Districts.
For more information about the Central City 2035 project, please visit www.portlandonline.com/bps/cc2035.
For more informaiton about the N/NE Quadrant Plan, please go to http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/cc2035/nneq.
September 10, 2012
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