Thursday 19 November 2015

Insights on the Urban Growth Boundary

Prior to coming to Portland I honestly had high expectations for the city, predominately with the aspects of public transportation in the area, as well as bicycle riding, which I somehow pictured an American version of Amsterdam’s biking system, which in reality is far from the truth. So far so that presenter Robert Sadowsky of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance stated that only 7% of Portland’s population ride, as picked up in a survey, which is evident through the city as in comparison to Amsterdam, there is notably little in the way of bike storage, and even bike sharing, but upon researching I have since found that some businesses in the sharing system do exist. That's not to say that the committees through Portland aren't trying to boost the statistics and getting people more active. Presenter Steve Cohen, a manager within the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability showed the physical changes in terms of public transportation routes and biking paths of the region over the last decades, which showed how greatly the influence of bicycle tracks have effects the development of the area. 

The idea of the Urban Growth Boundary had me questioning the value and legitimacy of it prior to coming to Portland, but after visiting areas of Portland and Milwaukie and hearing from both the mayors of the towns and the expert presenters helped me to understand what their intention behind it is, and how it really does help to shape the cities and their surrounding natural regions in a positive way.

For a city that residents are quick to claim is notable for its likely rainfall, the city seemed highly unprepared for the brief storm on Halloween (31st October) which saw public transport congestion for hours at night. But other than these apparent high downfalls the system runs successfully, where residents and visitors alike are easily able to access and become mobile around the city and connecting areas.

Jeremy Brown 


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