Thursday, 19 November 2015

Learning through experiencing

Although we had done research prior to arriving in Portland, it was hard to understand how the city worked, and what exactly it had to offer. 

In my research report on Portland, I explored the efficiency of the transport sector. The light rail system is seen as the best alternative to using a car, however, TriMet still wants to expand the light rail to increase tourism and lessen automobile drivers from the expansion areas.

As well as being known as ‘the city of roses’, Portland can also be referred to as ‘the city that rains 300 days a year’. Although this statement is somewhat fictitious, it proved to be true on the day that we arrived. The MAX light rail system came to a standstill when the largest downpour of rain in four years hit the city. 

In his presentation to our group, Bob Hastings from TriMet, Portland, informed us that the company was soon going to implement a bus interchange in the event of extreme weather (e.g. flooding). Upon investing money into the expansion of the light rail system, Bob explained that the sustainability factors would, in the long run, benefit the city of Portland on it’s way to reaching its objective ‘vision zero’; for the city be carbon neutral by 2030.
Portland, as Steve Cohen referred to it, “the diggable city”, is planning for sustainability. 

Alongside zero carbon, Portlandians have been integrating ‘backyard agriculture’ and community gardens into their municipality. Steve spoke about his ‘city food policy’, and the importance of agricultural awareness in the community. Despite how much knowledge and information the citizens in the Multnomah County have on sustainable agriculture, this still shows a negative correlation between locally grown nutritious foods and obesity rates.
Education in younger generations about food miles, sustainability and nutrition, hopes to lessen obesity rates and continue on the path to zero carbon emissions in future.

After getting to know Portland, it is much easier to understand the information I looked at in my previous research essay.

Bella Morton-Pedersen