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EPA praises Portland for its leadership in green urban growth practices

Release Date: 12/01/2010
Contact Information: Hanady Kader, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-0454, kader.hanady@epa.gov

(Dec. 1, 2010 - Seattle) Portland’s commitment to environmentally-friendly urban growth has garnered the city an esteemed Smart Growth award from EPA. The city’s “Making the Greatest Place” effort is one of only five initiatives across the nation recognized today by the agency.
 
The award recognizes Portland Metro’s preparation for green urban growth in the coming decades under its 2040 Growth Concept. The “Making the Greatest Place” effort focuses on compact communities, employment areas and transportation around the city, which anticipates a 600,000 leap in its population by 2030.
 
In addition, the initiative places great importance on responsible land use to protect farms and forests from urban growth in the coming decades. 
 
The agency also recognized New York City, Baltimore, San Francisco and Maine for their smart growth plans.
 
Currently, over 90 percent of the Portland-area residents live within a half mile of transit. The average Portland resident drives four fewer miles per day than residents of other comparable U.S. cities. Together, the programs and policies created by “Making the Greatest Place” help Portland’s compact neighborhoods thrive and reduce the need to expand the region’s urban growth boundary.
 
The award winners embody the principles behind EPA’s work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The agencies are improving access to affordable housing and providing more transportation options at lower costs while protecting the environment. By investing in existing communities and assets found in rural, suburban and urban settings, they are also finding ways to spur new economic development and opportunity.