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How I Spent My Christmas Vacation: Geeking Out on the Portland Plan Documents

January 4, 2010

OK, I’m a wonk. I spent a chunk of my holiday break curled up with two three-ring binders worth of background reports – and found it fascinating.

But you don’t have to wade through thousands of pages to comprehend the issues. The project team has produced a great handbook that lays out the key issues in about 40 pages. I think this is really helpful. We used the handbook approach during the development of the Streetcar System Concept Plan and citizens told us it helped them comprehend the issues.

But I don’t want to diminish the background reports themselves. They are an amazing compilation of the key programs, systems and infrastructure that comprise the City. And they comprehensively and clearly lay out the opportunities, challenges and policy trade-offs that we’re going to have to grapple with. If you’re ready to dig in (or just graze a bit), here’s the full list:

Arts and Culture (PDF)
Arts and Culture – Overview (PDF)
Arts and Culture – Snapshot (PDF)
Economic Development (PDF)
Economic Development – Overview (PDF)
Economic Development – Snapshot (PDF)
Economic Opportunities Analysis (PDF) – Task 1 – Trends, Opportunities and Martket Factors
Economic Opportunities Analysis (PDF) – Task 2/3 – Supply and Demand
Economic Opportunities Analysis (PDF) – Task 4 – Alternative Choices
Energy (PDF)
Energy – Overview (PDF)
Energy – Snapshot (PDF)
Evaluation of Economic Specialization (PDF)
Food Systems (PDF)
Food Systems – Overview (PDF)
Food Systems – Snapshot (PDF)
Food Systems Maps (PDF)
Historic Resources (PDF) – Report 1: Key Findings and Recommendations
Historic Resources (PDF) – Report 2: Data and Maps
Historic Resources (PDF) – Report 3: Understanding Historic Resources in Portland
Historic Resources – Overview (PDF)
Historic Resources – Snapshot (PDF)
Housing – Overview (PDF)
Housing – Snapshot (PDF)
Housing Affordability (PDF)
Housing and Transportation Cost Study (PDF)
Housing Supply (PDF)
Human Health and Safety (PDF)
Human Health and Safety – Overview (PDF)
Human Health and Safety – Snapshot (PDF)
Infrastructure – Snapshot (PDF)
Infrastructure Condition and Capacity (PDF)
Infrastructure Condition and Capacity – Overview (PDF)
Infrastructure Condition and Capacity Maps Part 1 (PDF)
Infrastructure Condition and Capacity Maps Part 2 (PDF)
Natural Resource Inventory (PDF)
Natural Resource Inventory – Overview (PDF)
Natural Resource Inventory – Snapshot (PDF)
Public Schools (PDF)
Urban Forestry (PDF)
Urban Forestry – Overview (PDF)
Urban Forestry – Snapshot (PDF)
Urban Form (PDF)
Urban Form – Overview (PDF)
Urban Form – Snapshot (PDF)
Watershed Health (PDF)
Watershed Health – Overview (PDF)
Watershed Health – Snapshot (PDF)

If you’d like to read hardcopies of these, rather than download them, they’re available in your local library branch or neighborhood coalition office.

My compliments to the staff (in many bureaus) who produced these reports. I doubt that many cities have this kind of comprehensive view available.

As we move through the process, I hope to highlight issues from a number of these reports in future posts!

And these documents are not just informative, they play an official role in the Portland Plan process. Planning Commission and City Council will hold hearings on and adopt this content as the ‘existing conditions’ for the Portland Plan and Comprehensive Plan. Planning Commission will hold a series of three hearings (download the flyer PDF) starting on January 26th. Come out and tell us what YOU think. See you there.

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3 comments

  1. […] Planning Commissioner One Planning Commissioner in Portland, Oregon « How I Spent My Christmas Vacation: Geeking Out on the Portland Plan Documents Readers Digest Version of Portland Plan Documents January 6, 2010 Earlier in the week I […]


  2. […] Come out and tell us what you think about the background reports! […]


  3. […] February 9th Where Do the Jobs Go? February 8, 2010 As we process the Portland Plan background reports, one of the most fascinating in my opinion is the Economic Opportunities Analysis – […]



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