On Saturday, April 6, COC Associate Ellen Wyoming will be facilitating a break-out session at Portland State University’s Sustainability for All conference.
Her session is called “Environmental and Social Justice: Moving Towards Dialogue and Finding Common Ground”
In the session they will explore the current context of the sustainability movement which is often identified as a movement for people with the privilege of participation. This often means that “sustainability” in the terms that it is most frequently discussed, is targeted towards an upper-middle class consumer who can afford to “buy” and “use” everything so that they need to think about “using less.” This framework dismisses many people who may in fact already be participating deeply in the sustainability movement and who would benefit from being a contributor and participant in the conversation.
Today, many well-meaning people may find themselves in diverse environmental-advocacy positions and while the assumption is that they are working towards a common cause, they may actually be injuring the opportunity for a wider dialogue about what sustainability means, why it’s important, and how people from all walks of life can, or indeed, already are, deeply participating. They will explore safe ways for dialogue and thought leadership around this to bring to light the care that must be exercised when working towards a “common good” to ensure that the goods are indeed, received commonly.
Nikki Henderson of People’s Grocery in Oakland, CA will be keynote speaker (learn more about this incredible leader here: http://www.makers.com/nikki-henderson).
More information and registration information is located here: www.sustainability4all.org. Registration is free and food and childcare will be provided!
We look forward to hearing how it goes this weekend and will update next week with key highlights!
, Social Justice
On Thursday, February 20, COC’s Bob Wise as Director of Team Oregon, LLC and Tim Smith, Team Oregon’s partner at SERA Architects presented their ideas to a high level delegation from Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. The delegation included the US Ambassador to Qatar, Susan L. Ziadeh and the Secretary General of the Qatar Supreme Committee of Delegates for the 2022 World Cup, Hassan Al-Thawadi.
The presentation summary is Qatar and Doha – The World Cup 2022. Bob and Tim advocated advanced sustainability principles for the World Cup to support legacy of sustainable urbanism in Doha, Qatar.
, Team Oregon
Nearly 100 residents from Oregon City attended a design workshop for the South End Concept Plan last week. Many participants may have been nervous, not knowing what to expect and having the fear in their mind of potential change, but any nervous energy quickly turned to enthusiasm once they realized this was an event for collaborative community design.
Residents first walked into the McLoughlin Elementary Gym to a room full of tables covered with maps and other materials. Consultants, City Staff and volunteers were scattered around the room until COC’s Kirstin Greene welcomed everybody and introduced Oregon City Commission President Kathy Roth who gave an overview of the “Concept Plan” and the purpose of that night’s occasion.
The purpose of the gathering was to begin getting design ideas from the community for the future of their neighborhood as this rural area transitions to more urban uses. To achieve the objective, the night included a presentation from Laurence Qamar on designing complete communities. His presentation covered aspects of history, development patterns and best practices.
Laurence’s presentation gave the community ideas what makes great communities and how to think about possible futures for South End. Once citizens began thinking of these different concepts and how they could apply to the South End neighborhood, it was time to put some of those ideas to paper in an activity COC designed that we simply call the Planning Game.
Those maps on the tables, mentioned above, were a part of the Planning Game. Each table was given a map, game pieces to represent land uses (residential, parks, civic buildings), markers, green yarn, felt, tape, glue and a set of instructions. Each table included a trained facilitator. In the game, participants arranged the different zoning pieces into a design they liked. Residential pieces had a “value” of one point. Large lot residential took more space than multifamily and both had one point value.
In order to complete the game, residents were asked to include a mix of parks, trails, civic buildings and residential. They were also instructed to attempt to reach a residential point value of at least 10. Adding all large lot, detached residential would only allow for seven points. The point system was established to reflect the true planning framework for the area. Neighborhood retail was optional.
Some groups jumped right into the process and others took a little while to discuss concerns, but once the evening was over, we had 18 different maps that represented each table’s work. The designs ranged from mostly large lot residential to more complete neighborhoods. One big theme that arose from the night was that most of the maps included a vast network of walking and bicycling trails.
We are pleased with the results and happy that we received many positive comments from the residents. Change is always a difficult thing, but planning ahead helps to ensure that the values of South End are reflected in its future.
The compilation of maps will help establish themes to guide the development of several alternative future land use patterns for South End. The process will continue with an open house in April and continued public engagement. For more information on the South End Concept Plan of Oregon City, please visit www.southendconceptplan.org.
, Oregon City
Arnold is at it once again! He spent the early parts of his career advocating and building support for the Oregon land use laws and he’s back out there building support for a plan to chart the future of Oregon.
Arnold presented a paper that he and Nohad A. Toulan co-authored, The Next Forty Years: A New Approach to Planning for the Future of Oregon, at the Seventh Annual Conference of the International Academic Association on Planning, Law and Property Rights. An audience of planners, academics and attorneys from around the globe attended the conference, held at Portland State University.
During his talk he covered a brief history of how Oregon got to where it is, in terms of regional planning, and in looking forward suggested that “where and how we grow is probably more important than how much we grow.”
Historically and today most Oregonians live in the Willamette Valley (82 percent) and unless something changes, this trend will continue. Not including potential climate refugees, the population of Oregon is expected to double in less than 50 years and 10 million people will live in the state by 2100.
Continuing with current policies and actions, we will not be prepared to deal with the negative consequences that accompany that growth: pressure to expand urban areas onto farm, forest and natural resources areas and large infrastructure costs.
In order to accommodate this additional growth, Arnold concluded with proposals that he and Nohad wrote in their paper:
- The creation of a new State Planning Office (SPO) and The Commission for the 22nd Century (Commission).
- A State Planning Director housed in the Governor’s Office, appointed to work with the Commission and supervise the SPO.
- Within two years, these groups be required to create a state strategic vision for the next 40 years and beyond.
- The SPD and Commission would work with affected state agencies, regional entities and local governments to achieve concurrence with the visions identified above.
In making these recommendations, Arnold shows a commitment to the future and ensuring that Oregon stays livable while ensuring continued economic prosperity and a healthful natural environment. As Arnold pointed out during the discussion after his talk, “for any planning initiative to move forward, it must have the support of the people.”
Tags:Land Use Planning
, regional planning