Portland – Meeting with Lisa + Lew of PDA

Another great introduction from Rob Bennett! Lisa Abuaf and Lew Bowers explained that sustainability is in the DNA of people who chose to live here. People don't come here to get rich - they come to participate in the better way of living the city and its citizens offer. The 3 things that are unique to Portland are:

-       urban growth boundaries that were agreed in the 70's

-       the creation of a Metro Government

-       early statement and action on mass transit

The City develops the codes and the PDC implements the ideas.

The next big thing is committing to going further than LEED, for both buildings and communities. PDC has always had a policy that any buildings they were involved with had to be LEED rated. This helped ensure others were driven to do the same and created a pool of great experience in the Portland professions - which is now being utilized all over the country.

Cascadia GBC involves the cities of NW America such as San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver who are all very aligned. This group has wanted to push harder than LEED, and has created the Living Building Challenge. From their web site (http://ilbi.org), this involves:

Living Building Challenge 2.0 is a cohesive standard - pulling together the most progressive thinking from the worlds of architecture, engineering, planning, landscape design and policy.

It challenges us to ask the question: What if every single act of design and construction made the world a better place?

What if every intervention resulted in greater biodiversity; increased soil health; additional outlets for beauty and personal expression; a deeper understanding of climate, culture and place; a realignment of our food and transportation systems; and a more profound sense of what it means to be a citizen of a planet where resources and opportunities are provided fairly and equitably?

Sounds good to me…! In Portland, the Oregon Sustainability Centre will showcase how this can be applied in their city. Another great group, working well with POSI and the Town Hall. A pity this seems to be such a unique situation… I

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