Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oregonlive Editorial on Planning

I had a spare minute to read the Opinion section in the Oregonian tonight. A short piece on thoughts for scenario planning by a Masters of Urban & Regional Planning student from Portland State University. Of course the comments ranged from the ridiculous to the just flat wrong and I had to post the following response to the post comment from a regular commenter:

ultimately if Portland doesn't offer what people want, people will leave Portland. With people leaving, so will services and businesses that employ people. Can you say "Detroit"? Portland MUST offer something for everyone - even if you don't agree with it. That means affordable single-family residences designed for people with children.

Here's my response:

I don't often post in these forums because mostly the comments are laughable, but this one had some thought to it and people might actually think Detroit and Portland are comparable. So let's just take a look at Detroit and Portland... I would agree that we don't want to emulate Detroit (they have had 20% population leaving the City in the past 10 years) and their design with the automobile in mind (they are home to the Big 3 automakers) has made the community hard to get around without a car. Our city's emphasis on smart growth (transit, bike, and peds) has been successful. Portland's trend looks a little different with the City adding 10% in the past 10 years, with stronger growth in the previous decades: 
Portland has significant challenges as does the entire metro region, but we've also got a vibrant central city that while not for everyone, offers an attractive place that has lead to a net migration. I feel like it is a great place to raise a family, recreate, and work. We bought a starter home in Milwaukie and then moved to Portland after several years of wanting a more walkable neighborhood, so we're part of that 10% increase in the past decade.

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