PORTLAND — I help lead one of America’s cities – Portland, Oregon. It is known for being a well-planned city. It’s not. At least, not as well as we want it to be. And not as well-planned as every American city must be.
When I talk about planning, I’m not just referencing plotting spots on a map where new bikeways will run, or where new business districts will pop up. Instead, I’m talking about how to understand the specific and real human challenges we face, and then how to establish priorities that are shared by community members and government. This is what creates a real playbook to guide future decisions.
“We need plans based less on politics and more on the facts; plans with integrated strategies and a short list of specific measures to provide public accountability for real results. … For example, Portland’s last city plan, developed over 30 years ago, focused on limiting sprawl, urban renewal, light rail (instead of highways), and helping to inspire new business sectors, including clean-tech. As a result, we have lowered total carbon emissions 6 percent while the rest of the U.S. has increased more than 10 percent. And, we’ve done it while growing our population and jobs.”