Implementing the Portland Region's 2040 Growth Concept


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From the Saskatoon Regional Growth Summit, John Willimas

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  • NW OregonRegional population over 2 Million (23rd largest in US); City of Portland population almost 600,000.- Portland established 1840sIllegal to pump your own gas! – you’ll laugh, but it’s partially because of our bad weather (about 4 deg C and raining when I left). Supposedly more breweries than any city in the world- Probably shouldn’t mention this, but our Winterhawks were the 2013 Western Hockey League champions. Isn’t Saskatoon also in that league…?
  • Clean air and clean water do not stop at city limits or county lines. Neither does the need for jobs, a thriving economy and good transportation choices for people and businesses in our region. Voters have asked Metro to help with the challenges that cross those lines and affect the 25 cities and three counties in the Portland metropolitan area.Metro is the directly elected regional government that serves more than 1.5 million residents in the region. The Metro Council includes a council president elected regionwide and six councilors elected by district. Metro also has an auditor who is elected regionwide.
  • 1925: Cars driving development outpacing government’s ability to provide services30s and 40s: Pacific NW Regional Planning Commission, a New Deal federal agency, recommended creation of regional planning authorities40s and 50s – explosion of special districts to provide services (fire, water, electricity…) 1941-1961 number went from 28 to 218. This proliferation is part of what really accelerated action on this issue.1960s – PMSC studied service delivery issues and recommended unification of governance1970s – MSD established as holding bin for future assignments of responsibility, starts with solid waste and zoo; not funded. The late 1960s and early 1970s was an ambitious time in Oregon; under the leadership of Governor Tom McCall, the state adopted a string of landmark legislative acts including beach and river protections, the US’s first bottle bill, and the state land use system among others.
  • 1968: median home price $16, 200 – bread 25 cents – gasoline $6.23 US a barrel. I5 two years old in Portland. Only transit service by a private company teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Metropolitan area just over 1,000,000 residents. Growth starting to increase, including some high-visibility incursions into valued rural lands.1973: requirements included creating an urban growth boundary around each city to protect rural lands; in the Metro area with 24 cities (at the time), too complicated to have each city do it.Metro in 1978 had authority to coordinate land use plans and take on “other issues of regional significance”1995: 20-year supply law passed; critics felt not enough was being done to provide new land.Now 25 cities.
  • Growth Concept: Reflects values: access to nature, protecting habitats, safe and stable neighborhoods, transportation choices, preserve quality of life for future generations, and foster a vibrant economy and culture. Growth is encouraged in centers and along corridors, increased emphasis on redevelopment. Employment a priority and areas designated. Protect natural areas, parks, streams within UGB and farmland, forests, natural areas outside. Promote transportation and housing options Preserve separation from neighboring cities.
  • Fast Forward 15 years….how do we do it and how is it working out?Categories: Downtowns/main streets Jobs and economic vitality Housing Transportation Nature in neighborhoods Farms, forests and natural areas
  • Downtowns: Metro and local governments have designated 37 areas across the region as centers. Just about every city is working to revitalize their historic downtown and add residents. However, success has been mixed. Retail patterns have changed and retail hasn’t always gone to the centers and corridors. Infill developments are still challenging, and filling them with retail more so in developing areas., particularly in the current economy. The chart shows the 30 town center areas in our region, and illustrates the challenge of bringing businesses in. Range of 0 to about 6 businesses per acre in these areas. (Map shows, poorly, that there’s a range of 0 to 16 dwelling units per acre). Local governments handle detailed zoning, economic development, permitting and other functions. Metro targets regional funds and programs and provides best practices.
  • Jobs. The Metro region is home to almost half of Oregon’s jobs. Average annual wages have typically exceeded the national average. However, unemployment has been high, and the region’s economy has certainly slowed recently. We did see a surge of manufacturing in the middle of the decade, focused on tech savvy, market focused niche manufacturers., but it’s unclear whether that’s a trend that will continue or a hiccup. Portland has a price advantage over many other west coast cities, making it attractive to companies needing port access and high quality of life. However, Portland is still located between the two larger cities of Seattle and San Francisco and has difficulty competing with those urban areas.Jobs/housing balance around the region continues to be another concern.Regional export initiative, in partnership with the Brookings Institute, to demonstrate power of working together at the regional level. We work together as a region on economic development but similar to the last slide, local governments do most of the day to day work.
  • Housing: 2040 plan does not target existing residential neighborhoods for more development, but some is happening anyway. Neighborhood acceptance is often linked to design. Still, many neighborhoods have stayed much like they were when the plan was created – a success. {?}Demand for more housing types exists. Affordability: we look at combined costs of housing plus transportation. Compared with other cities in the western US, the portland region offers housing at relatively low prices…but when expressed as a percentage of income, we’re quite average. Median home prices have risen 250% in the last 20 years while income has only risen 200%...and we’re projecting that in the next 20 years the number of cost-burdened households will double. Metro has made several efforts to address affordable housing but has gotten significant pushback from local jurisdictions and the private sector.In places that development has happened, we have seen displacement occur as property values rise and new developments are built.In the last 10 years, 95% of building permits have been within original 1979 UGB
  • Transportation: We have successfully implemented policies to expand transportation choices; our vehicle miles travelled per capita has declined and air quality has improved (in the 1960s Portland averaged 180 days of air quality violations and today we average none), and rate of commute by alternative modes is rising. However, funding challenges are real. We’re not keeping pace with maintenance, operations or capital investments in keeping with our adopted plans. The region has generally worked well on transportation; we’ve agreed to build major new capital investments in transit and have seen strong levels of cooperation among agencies and governments.
  • Nature in Neighborhoods: Region is a leader in green design, and many best practices developments exist. Cities have removed code and policy barriers to implementing habitat friendly practices. We’ve created grant programs, incentives, and design competitions. However, balancing infill development with preservation will be an increasing challenge. Land cost and availability make this work difficult. Some of this work continues to be politically difficult. Farms, Forests and Natural Areas: We’ve been pretty successful in protecting rural lands from development, and agriculture in the Metro area is strong. Metro has also purchased over 15,000 acres of open space. However, speculation still exists and over the past 15 years rural landowners near the UGB have faced repeated UGB analysis cycles, which we’ve recently tried to address with the creation of rural reserve areas off-limits to development for the next 50 years. Still, this topic has consumed a great deal of our time and effort.
  • First of all, we definitely see continued population and employment growth in the Portland region. Population growth will continue at about 1.5% per year2000: just over 2 million2030: 2.9 to 3.2 million2060: 3.6 to 4.3 millionAbout 40% from natural growth.Employment growth will parallel this.Note use of range forecasting, rather than point (previous methodology). Range allows for the consideration of a number of possible outcomes, rather than planning for one future Allows for adaptability in the face of changing global, national, and local conditions.Metro coordinates forecasting and estimates of land supply, then works with local jurisdictions, the private sector and state agencies to identify strategies for accomodating anticipated growth.
  • Household sizes are projected to slightly decrease, from 2.57 in 2000 to 2.45 in 2030Flattening of the traditional population pyramid, with more elderly and fewer young people. The Portland School District is now educating fewer children than it did in 1925, despite the population having doubled since then.2000: 742,300 households2030: 1.2 million – 1.3 million2060: 1.5 to 1.08 millionYou can see on this slide that according to our projections the number of owner occupied single family dwellings is likely to double in the next 20 years, but the number of owner occupied multi-family dwellings could increase fivefold or more. Increase in minority population as well. As I mentioned on the last slide, Metro coordinates this work around the region. We also work to identify transportation solutions that address changing demographics of our region.
  • Infrastructure: Traditional funding sources are drying up, from the federal level on down. Infrastructure funding needs to accommodate growth are projected to be upwards of $30 billion, and we’re only prepared to cover about half of that. An additional $10 billion is needed to repair existing systems. This threatens our ability to do any kind of new development, whether it be infill or greenfield.Action needed at local, regional, state and federal levels. Region can be effective voice if speaking together.
  • Climate Change: Not really contemplated when 2040 plan was drawn up. Residents and businesses in the Portland region are responsible for over 31 million metric tons of carbon emissions each year. The three greatest sources of carbon emissions in the region are the goods and food consumed, the energy used in homes and buildings, and transportation by car and truck. Implementing the 2040 Growth Concept will help, but as we’ve heard there’s a long way to go. For example, although average vehicle miles travelled are dropping somewhat, population growth will ensure that total emissions will continue to rise in the future if we continue in our current direction. We are working as a region to evaluate and choose a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Also, a climate preparedness vulnerabilities report has been completed for the Lower Willamette River Basin. This work identifies local impacts, assesses the region's risks and vulnerabilities, and develop recommendations for climate change preparation including minimizing risks to natural, built, human and economic systems.
  • Definition of desired outcomes1. Vibrant Communities: People live and work in vibrant communities where they can choose to walk for pleasure and to meet their everyday needs.2. Vibrant Economy: Current and future residents benefit from the region’s sustained economic competitiveness and prosperity.3. Safe and Reliable Transportation: People have safe and reliable transportation choices that enhance their quality of life.4. Minimize Contributions to Global Warming: The region is a leader in minimizing contributions to global warming.5. Clean environment: Current and future generations enjoy clean air, clean water and healthy ecosystems.6. Equity: The benefits and burdens of growth and change are distributed equitably. Focus on collaboration, innovation, and efficiency. (Examples range from huge long-range project like reserves to smaller initiatives like speaker series, streamlining requirements) Continued integration of land use, transportation and investment. (policy work) Understand markets and target investments for maximum benefit (UGR, TOD Strategic Plan) We have to do better in bringing in private sector to make plans more market feasible, and increase investment where possible.Performance measurement (regional indicators)
  • Implementing the Portland Region's 2040 Growth Concept

    1. 1. Implementing the Portland Region’s 2040 Growth Concept (Great Planning May Not Be Enough) John R. Williams Deputy Director Metro Planning and Development Portland, Oregon Follow: @YXERegion #yxesummit
    2. 2. About us
    3. 3. About Metro  Solid Waste and Recycling  Urban Planning and Transportation Planning  Parks, Trails and Open Spaces  Oregon Zoo  Oregon Convention Center  Expo Center  Portland Center for the Performing Arts  Research Center: Mapping, Modeling and Forecasting
    4. 4. A long time in the making • • • • • 1925 State committee on problems of local governance 1930s & 40s – Pacific NW Regional Planning Commission 1947 - Legislation allowing County planning and zoning 1963 – Portland Metropolitan Study Commission 1970 – Metropolitan Service District established
    5. 5. Metro’s 2040 Growth Concept • 1973: Oregon adopts nation’s first growth management laws • 1978: Voters create Metro – first elected regional government in the U.S. • 1979: Metro Council adopts 234,000 acre Urban Growth Boundary, which included 24 cities and parts of 3 counties • 1992: Voters direct Metro to create a future vision and comprehensive set of regional policies on land use, transportation, water quality, natural areas. • 1995: Adoption of 2040 Growth Concept
    6. 6. Metro’s 2040 Growth Concept
    7. 7. 2040: How are we doing? • • • • • • Downtowns/main streets Jobs and economic vitality Housing Transportation Nature in neighborhoods Farms, forests and natural areas
    8. 8. 2040: Downtowns/Main Streets
    9. 9. 2040: Jobs/Economic Vitality
    10. 10. 2040: Housing
    11. 11. 2040: Transportation
    12. 12. 2040: Environment • Nature in Neighborhoods • Farms and Forests
    13. 13. What’s ahead?
    14. 14. Continued Growth
    15. 15. Changing demographics
    16. 16. Deteriorating infrastructure
    17. 17. Climate Change
    18. 18. Metro’s role in the future • Convene regional conversations • Leadership on desired outcomes • Focus on collaboration, innovation, and efficiency • Push for integration of land use, transportation and investment • Understand markets and target investments • Track performance
    19. 19. Implementing the Portland Region’s 2040 Growth Concept (Great Planning Is Definitely Not Enough!) John R. Williams Deputy Director Metro Planning and Development Portland, Oregon Follow: @YXERegion #yxesummit