Sustainable City: Portland: Lauren Pritchard

18 11 2008

In class we often discuss what  it is to be sustainable, and ways in which Winnipeg can become more sustainable.

 Portland is a perfect example of this sustainability. Portland is what the rest of North America cities should be striving for. Portland’s brilliant city planning from early on promises this city a bright future. It is a beautiful place to live, work, and play.

Just the other day I came across an article in the New York Times regaurding the 2008 most sustainable cities in America. It didn’t surprise me a bit that this is the fourth straight year to top this list. Portland simply understands and practices sustainable development. Other names on this list were fellow West cost cities, San Fransisco, Seattle. Followed by major Mid west cities, Chicago, Minneapolis.

The list of cities mention as sustainable, got me wondering what exactly it is that defines a city as sustainable. I feel a leader in sustainable cities should be one that is sustainable in as many aspects of city life as possible, and always striving to do better.  

Sustainlane.com chooses the cities for its list by these categories:

“Transit: What options do cities have?, Energy Use: How sustainable are your energy options? Does your city have a co-generation plan? Wind or solar sources?, Water Quality and Usage: Does your water come from a renewable source and, um, can you drink it?, Air Quality: How well can you breathe?, Green Building, Traffic Congestion, Land Use, Housing Availability and Affordability, Government initiatives”

-http://www.sustainlane.com/us-city-rankings/articles/what%27s-a-sustainable-city-anyway/FBAYC8UA4QLVUA9AP2CWYO4F13QB.

City Charts

 “The city enacted strict land-use policies, implementing an urban growth boundary, requiring density, and setting a strong precedent for sustainable development.” (http://www.sustainlane.com/us-city-rankings/articles/what%27s-a-sustainable-city-anyway/FBAYC8UA4QLVUA9AP2CWYO4F13QB.) Winnipeg could learn a lot from Portland’s land use policies, this si a way in which Winnipeg could begin creating a more dense city center.

Portland began green thirty years ago, we, along with the rest of North America have alot of catching up to do. It can be a bit overwhelming to think of how far behind we are. But if we start implementing sustainable policies today, in ten years we to can begin seeing dramatic shift in the quality of our city. We must begin now in taking  responsibility for the future of our city, just as Portland did thirty years ago.

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