Neighborhood Planning & Development Sustainability and Local Transport
Located between the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Portland is at the northern end of the Willamette Valley and river which flows through the city and links with the Columbia River. The citizens and their local government are notable for: land-use planning, local transport, environment conscious policies, high walkability, a large number bicyclists and ten thousand acres of public parks.
Neighborhoods The Office of Neighborhood Involvement serves as a conduit between city government and Portland's 95 neighborhoods, each represented by a volunteer association serving as liaison between residents and the city government. Portland and its surrounding metropolitan area also have the only directly elected metro planning organization the United States with responsibility for land use, transport planning and solid waste management.
Planning & Development Land use planning controls, dating as far back as 1903, statewide land conservation policies adopted in 1973 and the 1979 urban growth boundary program have led to urban areas where high-density development and traditional farm land with restrictions on non-agricultural development. Portland’s unique approach to development has prevented neglect of the downtown areas; UGBs and economic development zones have led to the development of a large portion of downtown, a large number of mid- and high-rise developments, and an overall increase in housing and business density.
Portland’s climate action plan cuts greenhouse gases to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050
Local Transport Metropolitan Portland’s commuters and visitors have many options to get around in America’s best pedestrian and transit-friendly city. Public transit is comprised of TriMet’s regional bus network and the Metropolitan Area Express – MAX - light rail system, which connects the city and suburbs while the WES Commuter Rail reaches Portland's western suburbs.
Portland Streetcar connects shopping areas and dense residential districts north and northwest of downtown as well as the east side of the Willamette River. The Portland Transit Mall on Fifth and Sixth avenues limits automobile access in favor or bus and light rail service. Portland’s mainline steam locomotives can be seen pulling excursion trains operated by the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation.
Eight Percent of Portland’s Commuters – 10 times the national average - Bike to Work
Arts and Culture the Portland Art Museum and its Modern and Contemporary Art Wing is home to the city's largest art collection and is one of the largest in the country. Several downtown art galleries are present in the Pearl and the Alberta Arts Districts. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, located on the east bank of the Willamette River, contains a variety of hands-on exhibits covering the physical sciences, life science, earth science, technology, astronomy, and early childhood education.
Cultural Heritage & Museums, Water Resources & the Environment, Local Food Wine & Breweries, Community Public Transport Initiatives
Food Coffee and Brews Portland is home to 58 breweries and independent microbreweries, supported by locally produced barley, Cascade hops and pure mountain water from the Bull Run Watershed. Portland hosts a number of festivals throughout the year in celebration of beer and brewing, including the Oregon Brewers Festival, the Spring Beer and Wine Festival, the North American Organic Brewers Festival, the Portland International Beer Fest and the Holiday Ale Festival. There is also a lively street food scene with over 600 food carts and trucks, vegetarian-friendly eateries and dozens of coffee micro-roasteries and cafes.
The Outdoors the City’s Parks are considered among the best in America; 80% of Portlanders live within a half-mile to a park and sixteen percent of the city area is parkland. Parks and greenspace planning date back to 1903 and in recent years the Portland metropolitan region passed a regional bond measure to acquire 8,100 acres of natural areas for fish, wildlife, and people. Forest Park is the largest wilderness park within city limits in the United States, covering more than 5,000 acres. Mills End is the world's smallest park with a two-foot-diameter circle and an area of 0.3 m2. Washington Park is home to the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Japanese Garden and the International Rose Test Garden. Tom McCall Waterfront Park runs the entire length of the Willamette’s west bank for the length of downtown.
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