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Portland, OR

From dKosopedia

Portland is the largest city in Oregon, and county seat of Multnomah County. It is a major Pacific seaport located about sixty miles from the west coast of the United States, situated on both sides of the Willamette River, just south of its confluence with the Columbia River. According the US Census estimates, as of July 2003, the city's population was estimated to be 538,544, a growth of 1.7% over the April 2000 census figure of 529,121.

The Portland metropolitan area spans Multnomah and Washington counties and parts of Clackamas, Columbia, and Yamhill counties in Oregon, and Clark County in Washington, with a population of 2,016,357 as of July 2003, 5.2% more than the 2000 census figure for the area. The metropolitan area includes the neighboring cities of Beaverton, Gresham, Hillsboro, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, Oregon City, and Tigard (all in Oregon), as well as Vancouver (in Washington).

SustainLane named Portland the 2006 #1 Major City in Overall Sustainability. San Francisco came in second and Seattle third in the ranking.

The city and the region

Portland is often cited as an example of a well-planned city. The credit for this starts with Oregon's proactive land use policies, particularly the establishment of an urban growth boundary (UGB) in 1974. The boundary preserved agricultural land and reduced sprawl. This was atypical in an era when automobile use led many areas to neglect their core cities in favor of development along interstate highways, in suburbs, and satellite cities.

Portland's success in urban planning continues with the Metropolitan Service District (Metro for short), a regional government directly elected by voters. Metro's charter includes land use and transportation planning, solid waste management, and map development. Metro manages the UGB by coordinating with the cities and counties in the area to ensure a 20-year-supply of developable land with the infrastructure that land needs.

Metro's master plan for the Portland region includes Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), centered around light rail lines. This includes mixed-use and high-density development around stops and transit centers, and investing the metropolitan area's share of federal tax dollars into multiple modes of transportation. Metro's master plan also includes multiple town centers, smaller versions of the city center, scattered throughout the metropolitan area.

TOD is part of the national trend sometimes referred to as new urbanism, a trend that Portland developers and city planners are helping to pioneer.

In 1995 Metro introduced the 2040 plan as a way to define long term growth planning. The 2040 Growth Concept is designed to accommodate 780,000 additional people and 350,000 jobs by the year 2040. This plan has created some criticism from environmentalists, but few consider it a threat to Portland's legacy of urban growth management.

An April 2004 study in the Journal of the American Planning Association tried to quantify the effects of Metro's plans on Portland's urban form. While the report cautioned against finding a direct link between any single one policy and any improvements in Portland's urban form, it showed strong correlation between Metro's 2040 plan and various west-side changes in Portland. Changes cited include increased density and mixed-use development as well as improved pedestrian/non-automobile accessibility.

Elected Officials

The power and authority given to the municipal corporation of the City of Portland is vested in a Council consisting of a Mayor and four (4) Commissioners. All five positions, and that of auditor are the only elected positions within the City Governemnt to four year terms of office.

PositionNameBureausFirst electedStatus
MayorTom PotterMayor Elect2004Elected
CommisionerRandy LeonardBureau of Development Services

Bureau of Emergency Communications
Bureau of Licenses
Office of Cable Comm. & Franchise Management
Office of Neighborhood Involvement

CommisionerErik StenFire Bureau

Bureau of Housing & Community Development
Global Warming & Utility Relations
Endangered Species
Regional Arts & Culture Council

CommisionerSam AdamsCommisioner Elect2004Elected
CommisionerDan SaltzmanBureau of Environmental Services

Water Bureau
Office of Sustainable Development

AuditorGary Blackmern/a1999Re-elected

External Links

Retrieved from "http://localhost../../../p/o/r/Portland%2C_OR_3da3.html"

This page was last modified 21:45, 7 June 2006 by dKosopedia user M-246. Based on work by dKosopedia user(s) Allamakee Democrat, Jumbo and Lestatdelc. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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