For more than 40 years, the City of Portland and the Portland Metropolitan Region have been national leaders in urban policies and investments intended to revitalize the central city and adjacent neighborhoods, preserve the environment, improve equity, and make the city more economically competitive and livable. The “Portland brand” has been both emulated as path breaking and discounted as overly idiosyncratic. Among the elements contributing to Portland’s success have been strong public-private partnerships, a culture of planning, and a willingness to implement diverse ideas generated by academics, consultants, companies, and government agencies. Regionally, Portland has benefited from its location in the middle of the progressive Cascadia Corridor, stretching from Vancouver BC to San Francisco.
Against this vibrant backdrop, this National Research Council Workshop will use examples from Portland and the Northwest US / SW Canada region to explore critical questions about the future of urban sustainability. The meeting will be organized into four sessions over two days. Session 1 will provide background about Portland and Cascadia, emphasizing policy innovations and lessons that are potentially transferable elsewhere. Session 2 will focus on ways to leverage local success through partnerships with state and federal agencies, companies, and non-government organizations, including the possibility of creating one or more interagency and multi-sector National Laboratories that gather, test, and disseminate best urban practices. Session 3 will ask how cutting-edge academic and corporate scientific and engineering research can help cities to become more sustainable. Finally, Session 4 will address the challenging question of how financially strapped cities, with the assistance of private foundations, can become agents for achieving broader societal goals not directly linked to their operational mandates, such as climate change mitigation, energy independence, poverty alleviation, and the preservation of biodiversity.
- Robert Bennett
Executive Director, EcoDistricts
- Susan Anderson
Director, Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
- John Cleveland
President, Innovation Network for Communities
- Glen T. Daigger
Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, CH2M Hill, Inc
- Jonathan H. Fink
Vice President for Research & Strategic Partnerships, Portland State University
- Jim Lester
President, Houston Advanced Research Center
- Colin Sears
Vice President of Business Development, Greater Portland, Inc.
- Lillian M. Shirley
Director, Multnomah County Health Department
This project is funded by Portland State University.
Science and Technology for Sustainability
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 334-2047