Thursday, 19 November 2015

Stopping sprawl


The City of Portland has a very strong and reputable planning system in place, especially when it comes to their transport and land use planning, the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) and the public transport system are the key planning features of Portland and together they have made a very successful city. Portland’s transport system is very effective and services almost every corner of the city and its surrounding areas. The Street Car being similar to a tram, services most of downtown and is a very reliable mode of transport that does not always run alongside a road which allows it to go through popular public spaces and close to vital buildings such as health care and the university, which in turn has allowed the economy of those areas to thrive. 

The Light Rail system is faster than the Street Car and facilitates a much broader area. With the recent addition of the Orange Line to Milwaukie, the Light Rail is a very impressive mode of transport that accommodates every user due to the on-board functions of a bike rack and disability ramp. The Light Rail stops are quite unique in the sense that they are independently powered, each stop has a roof made out of solar panels that provides enough power to run the lighting and information signs, this is a very green initiative that needs to be continued throughout the rest of Portland. Portland also has a bus route that reaches areas of the city that the Street Car and Light Rail do not yet go to, this service also caters for all users with a ramp for disabled people and bike racks on the front. With the public transport system being so versatile there is a great need for pedestrian and cycling access to all areas and for the reason the side walk and paths through green spaces, it is evident that these have been done well because of the grand number of people using them each day. 

The UGB has been developed by an organisation called Metro and is an inspiring plan for many cities and regions, as Portland has been able to stop the sprawl from the city and increase density and development within a boundary. The purpose of the boundary line is to protect the land that is outside the city as it is so rich and good for agriculture. The City of Portland is able to grow produce and bring it fresh into the city within half an hour, which is very economical and environmentally sustainable. The UGB is an excellent example of a way to prevent urban sprawl that should be further researched by other cities and implemented into Australia.



Nicole Grey