Portland Selected to Join Urban Sustainability Accelerator Program | News

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Portland Selected to Join Urban Sustainability Accelerator Program
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City to receive planning assistance for redevelopment of India Street neighborhood

The City of Portland has been selected to join the first group of municipalities to participate in an innovative new sustainability effort based in Oregon. The Urban Sustainability Accelerator (USA,) at Portland State University in Oregon is a new program created to help small- to mid-sized urban areas implement sustainability projects.

The city’s Department of Planning & Urban Development asked the USA program to assist with planning and implementation for redevelopment of the historic India Street neighborhood, which adjoins Portland’s thriving downtown. The department is interested in integrating new urban redevelopment with historic preservation, managing storm water through green infrastructure, maintaining and increasing transportation choice, and addressing the challenge of sea level rise.

Portland joins other teams from Louisville, Kentucky, the Sacramento Council of Governments and its member communities, Wichita, Kansas, and El Paso and Waco, Texas, in receiving assistance starting this spring through the summer of next year.  These cities’ sustainability projects have some common themes, including of urban redevelopment and infill, green infrastructure investments, historic preservation and promoting transportation choices.

Portland’s project team will draw on expertise in the Portland, Oregon, region that have tackled similar projects and benefit from experts in the other cities in the group.

“Assistance from the USA program is a key part of the city’s commitment to planning for the India Street neighborhood,” said Jeff Levine, Director of Planning and Urban Development Department. “This work will build upon earlier work conducted as part of the Sustain Southern Maine initiative, and will allow the city’s planning efforts to move swiftly from concept to implementation.”

Robert Liberty, USA’s Director commented, “Portland (Maine) has already achieved very successful downtown revitalization.  We were flattered that our older sister wanted us to help with the special challenge of integrating historic preservation with redevelopment that makes use of green infrastructure and improved transportation choices.”

The Urban Sustainability Accelerator is made possible through support of Portland State University’s Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, The Institute for Sustainable Solutions and a grant from the Summit Foundation.

For more information on the USA program, please visit http://www.pdx.edu/sustainability-accelerator or contact Urban Sustainability Accelerator Director Robert Liberty at rliberty@pdx.edu

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