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Sustainability In The City Of Portland, Oregon

2404 words - 10 pages

Along with a thorough enough discussion of anything comes the inevitable unearthing of its strengths and weaknesses. The Portland Plan has a number of strengths: it is comprehensive, well thought out, inclusive, and should ultimately lead to a well-planned and sustainable city. How in-depth the Portland Plan is, is a testament to its preparedness to face any challenges to lead the Portland of today into becoming the Portland of tomorrow, as any potential question that may arise is likely addressed within the text of the plan. The mercurial nature of the plan is to its advantage, as anything not addressed within the text of the plan does not render the plan obsolete, but rather may be simply found by finding the popular opinion of the citizens of Portland, as the plan is simply an extension of the will of the people of Portland, and inasmuch the plan ever-changing just as their needs and goals are changing. Furthermore, this plan will have succeeded where others have failed in that measures of success within the Portland Plan are on the whole quantifiable, and so citizens and civil servants alike may actively track the cities progress in accordance with the plan. Finally, the biggest strength within this plan lies within its most unique aspect: its underlying theme of citizen participation. It is therein that the effectiveness lies, as it becomes a plan not simply forcing the people to be sustainable, as so many have attempted to do in the past, but rather a plan which gives the people of Portland a support structure by which to educate the people of Portland on these issues, and provides them an outlet encouraging the development of long term sustainable behaviors and lifestyles. These strengths will allow the Portland, Oregon of 2035 to be full of closer knit, more self-sufficient, environmentally conscious communities.
Though this plan is aggressive and innovative in nature, it is not totally without risk. While the plan appears to be thorough and complete, this very characteristic may also prove to be a weakness. As sustainable technologies and even planning methodologies improve, a plan as cohesive as the current Portland Plan may leave little breathing room to accommodate the integration of future improvements without large investments and comprehensive re-planning. In addition, plans as comprehensive as this one is tend to leave less room for the creative expression, which adds diversity and charm to the cities neighborhoods. In terms of raw efficiency, the choice to make this plan a joint effort between the city government and the citizens themselves, though a noble cause, can cause each step to take much longer, and even the delay of the project in its entirety due to the volatility of entire populations. One final risk of the plan, is the risk associated with time. As any program needs money to continue on, people must continue to vote for the Portland Plan’s various programs over the years in order for them to maintain...

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