Planning efforts earn recognition
The Portland metropolitan area has been named one of the world’s most innovative and sustainable communities, winning top honors for strategic planning and second place overall at last month’s International Awards for Liveable Communities in Chicago.
Metro Council President Carlotta Collette, Sustainability Center Director Jim Desmond and Planning and Development Director Robin McArthur represented the region at the competition, which recognizes local work to improve environmental health and quality of life.
“We’re very proud to be here representing our region,” Collette said. “Sometimes we take for granted how clean and green and vibrant our environment and our community is.”
Based on written entries, finalists were selected from five population categories to present their cases last weekend to a panel of judges. Metro competed in the largest division, for communities with a daytime population of more than 400,000.
Communities scored points for their work in six areas: enhancement of the natural and built landscapes; arts, culture and heritage; environmental best practices; community participation and empowerment; healthy lifestyle; and strategic planning.
Judges awarded the region the top prize among all community sizes for strategic planning, citing the collaboration of many cities and counties to shape the future. Metro highlighted six strategic outcomes that regional leaders use to make policy decisions, such as economic competitiveness and prosperity and vibrant, walkable communities.
“Planning for the future can be complex, especially when you do not have direct control but have to coordinate the planning of several cities and counties together,” wrote judge Rob Small of New Zealand. He praised Metro leaders for, “creating a long term view for their region that is inspiring and uplifting in its vision.”