The Global Warming Commission is seeking public comment on recommendations it adopted last fall as an Interim Roadmap to 2020. Help shape the state’s response to climate change!
Join us Thursday at a Portland-Multnomah County hosted event that will be led by Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen and Portland’s Mayor Sam Adams. Join other participants to discuss and critique parts of the Roadmap of particular interest to you in a collaborative process.
June 9, 6 – 7:30 pm, Multnomah County Building, County Boardroom, 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, Blvd, Portland, Oregon, 97214.
The Oregon Global Warming Commission is a 25-member commission created in 2007 by the Oregon legislature. It is charged with helping coordinate state and local efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and making sure the state meets its climate goals. In 2007, Oregon adopted greenhouse gas reduction goals which include cutting greenhouse gases 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020; and achieving a 75 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2050.
“We hope Oregonians will seize this opportunity to help shape the State’s strategies for reducing greenhouse gases,” said Angus Duncan, Chair of the Commission. “The interim recommendations touch nearly every aspect of our lives in this state, from the cars we drive and homes we live in to how we manage our farms and forests. Oregonians can speak to these ideas in the evening workshops or by responding to the online survey.”
The Commission is asking Oregonians to take an online survey to provide feedback on the Roadmap to 2020 and on the state’s work to shrink the state’s greenhouse gas footprint. The survey can be taken at:
Feedback from the survey will be used to inform the Commission’s future work, and will be provided to elected officials and policymakers working on a response to climate change.
For more information on the Oregon Global Warming Commission and the Roadmap to 2020, please visit www.keeporegoncool.org.
Hope to see you there!
, Climate Change
, Land Use Planning
, Least Cost Planning
, Urban Design
Thanks, Jim Zehren, for this great synopsis:
Patrick Condon, professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Vancouver, British Columbia, spoke today at an open-to-the-public brown bag event at Metro on the subject of achieving reductions in greenhouse gases (GHG) through particular approaches to urban form. Condon’s presentation was based on his recently published book, Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities: Design Strategies for the Post-Carbon World (Island Press 2010) www.islandpress.org.
Condon prefaced his review of the seven rules described in his book with some overarching points. He stated his conclusion that we can achieve GHG reductions of at least 50 percent through changes in land use patterns alone. He then said that at the heart of the inability of North American metro areas to achieve GHG solutions through urban form is the “silos” problem. By that he meant the phenomenon of many specialized stakeholders and others who affect the development and redevelopment of our urban areas failing to see the big picture and to take collaborative actions in ways that achieve the common good. He also said he believes that fractal geometry is a good model for understanding the form of successful cities and urban regions.
Condon spent the most time discussing the first rule articulated in his book, which is: “Restore the streetcar city.” Regarding this rule, he was quick to emphasize that it is not necessarily the use of the streetcar per se that we need to restore, but rather the land use-transportation connection that existed in our cities during the pre-automobile streetcar era. He referred to Portland as a good example of a streetcar city prior to World War II. And though he lauded the City of Portland for beginning to rebuild its streetcar system, he lamented that Portland’s streetcars move at such a slow speed.
Condon explained that the remaining six of his seven rules are essentially extensions of the first rule. Those remaining rules address, respectively, the need for: an interconnected street system; services, transit and schools located within a five-minute walk; jobs close to affordable housing; a diversity of housing types; a linked system of natural areas and parks; and lighter, greener, cheaper and smarter infrastructure.
Condon concluded by stating that there is an urban form that can be successful in achieving our GHG goals, if we restore that urban form as we build and rebuild our cities and suburbs. He noted that it took North American metro areas about 50 years to deviate from that workable urban form, and we now have about 50 years to restore it.
In response to questions, Condon agreed that the on-going lack of activity in the real estate sector in the US economy poses a real problem for achieving our GHG goals if redeveloping our cities is a primary solution. He also commented that his seven rules do not address the need for local food security, which he believes is important. He agreed that getting transportation planners and traffic engineers to do their work consistent with achievement of our adopted GHG goals remains a major impediment, and stated that they must change their approach within this decade if we are going to achieve our GHG goals within the 50-year timeframe we are facing.
Condon also agreed that finding a way to convince the education community to reconfigure schools and school sites to help achieve GHG goals also is a difficult challenge, particularly given the political and governance aspects involved. Finally, he repeated his own question from earlier in his remarks regarding what Sandy Boulevard in northeast Portland would look like as a “streetcar city” element in the city today if the eastbound MAX from downtown Portland had been routed along Sandy rather than along I-84 and had been a faster version of Portland’s streetcar rather than light rail.
For more, see the book!
, Greenhouse Gas
, land use
, Sustainable Communities
, Urban Design
COC and other team members created an award-wining first bio-based city plan in Langfang, China. The precedent-setting Smart Eco-City Master Plan was awarded the American Institute of Architects Hong Kong Merit Prize Award for urban planning and design on October 20, 2010 in Hong Kong. This is one of the highest prizes awarded in Asia for urban design and the only one awarded by Hong Kong AIA in 2010. Cogan Owens Cogan, LLC, worked as a subcontractor to the Project Leader, Carolina Woo of CW Group in San Francisco. COC also supported HOK Asia (Hong Kong), the prime contractor. COC Senior Project Manager, Bob Wise, played a major role in developing the vision, goals, public policy guidelines and key performance indicators for the entire plan. Biomimicry, the Natural Step, Triple Bottom Line, the Living Community Challenge, United Nations Urban Environmental Accords and ecological design concepts are integrated into a harmonious whole. The plan addresses urban design, high speed rail, light rail and street car systems, green infrastructure, organic food production, ecosystem restoration, green building, livable walkable neighborhoods, emblematic parks and places and a complete regional water reuse cycle.
, Urban Design
“Architecture needs to respond to its surrounding context” says Portland’s first ever Chief Urban Designer, Arun Jain, who spoke to UO architecture students this evening about the Planning Bureau’s latest project called the Urban Design Assessment.
Jain describes the project as a “stage for more substantive discussions on how urban form, quality, and identity can and should develop in the future.”
Portland’s Bartholomew Plan, 1932
He says the assessment project will “inform” ongoing efforts to redo the Central Portland Plan. His team’s work so far includes an impressive review of Portland’s planning history, review of existing plans, and a detailed analysis of “focus” issues; what he refers to as the hot topics everyone is “agonizing about,” such as building height, floor area ratio, and the downtown skyline.
Jain and his team have discovered, through sophisticated spatial analysis, that the central city actually holds enough development capacity for 60 years (assuming recent absorption rates continue). Lack of development capacity is not what’s forcing buildings to go higher. Focusing on height for the longer term, he says, ignores the living environment in the interim.
He suggests that a better strategy would be to encourage more mid-rise development because it would fill up the empty lots during the interim. These mid-rise buildings are the “competent” buildings that make up the urban fabric, which Jain says “belong where they are,” as opposed to tall buildings and flashy skylines.
Whatever your opinions are, be sure to check out his group’s terrific planning Timeline. He compares Portland’s planning history with world events. The blue line down the middle is Portland’s population growth since 1900.
Thanks to Jim for sending out the lecture notice. The next lecture in this series is with David Bragdon on January 23 at 12:00 noon, UO Portland Center.
The Urban Design Assessment website is here: http://www.portlandonline.com/planning/index.cfm?c=44083
, Urban Design