Portland Open Space Vision & Implementation Plan

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About the Committee

The City is working with the Trust for Public Land and Portland Trails to create a system-wide plan for future open space protection and improvement, the Portland Open Space Vision and Implementation Plan.

For Portland to have a system of fully functional parks and open spaces that contribute to Portland being a 21st century world class city.

Deliverable: A system-wide Portland Open Space Vision and Implementation Plan.

This brief planning document will outline recommended future investments in parks/trails/open space. It will include:
• Overarching level of service goals for the park/trail system.
• Prioritized list of projects recommended for 5 year time horizon.
• Estimated associated costs (including staffing) to deliver these projects.
• A recommended process or structure to guide future decision-making on these topics.

This planning document will go to City Council for consideration.

Project Description:

Portland boasts an enviable system of parks and trails, treasured by residents and tourists alike. To continue to meet our needs, this system must grow as the city grows, and the community must come together to decide where additional open space should be protected or existing open space should be enhanced.

To further this goal, we are creating a system-wide plan for future open-space protection and improvement, the Portland Open Space Vision and Implementation Plan. American cities large and small are creating similar visions, with varied emphases.

Green Spaces and Blue Edges (1993, updated in 2001 is the City of Portland’s most current park and recreation planning document and it serves as the Recreation and Open Space Element of the General Plan. There hasn’t been a system-wide effort to look at improving the Portland parks and recreation system for nearly 14 years. Meanwhile, Portland grapples with open space needs, including needs concerning:

• Space to grow food
• Urban infill to increase density and activate neighborhood space
• Healthy ecosystems for nature’s sake as well as for community resilience to climate change
• Places of peace and relaxation
• Exercise and recreation opportunities
• Walkable and bike-able neighborhoods
• Beauty, both natural and human-made.

Portland residents want to evaluate our priorities. Do we primarily value open space for recreation, to grow our food, or as green and climate-smart infrastructure? Or should our primary goal be the protection of natural beauty? Should we be focusing investments on improved maintenance or better programming? Answers to such questions will help shape our shared vision, which in turn will help us determine where our community should grow and invest. Whatever we may ultimately decide, our goal is to develop a decision-making tool that allows us to make future open-space choices based on community priorities.

This project will to help define a future Portland where we would all like to live, work, and play.

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