Announcing Planning Oregon, an Initiative for Statewide Future Planning

Planning the Pacific Northwest, available now in paperback or e-book, brought together over 70 practicing planners and academics to look at the past, present, and future of planning in the region.

In chapter 4, Dr. Sy Adler provided a history of the metropolitan area’s urban growth boundary documenting Oregon's landmark growth management legislation as it has reshaped Portland over the past four decades. Now, he and other faculty members at Portland State University’s Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning are looking to the future.

Planning Oregon is a recently launched effort to establish the school as a focal point of research and innovative practice ideas for the statewide land-use planning program. Adler and his colleagues, including Resident Senior Fellow Jim Irvine, are running full-steam ahead with a variety of activities intended to build on the state’s 40-plus year history of nationally and internationally recognized experience and position the statewide program to address the issues that Oregon will confront in the years ahead.

Planning Oregon will enable planners and community leaders to create local solutions and statewide innovations by providing essential information, insight, and inspiration. It offers a forum where diverse voices are welcomed and challenges are embraced in the interest of exploring how the current land-use system is working, whether it is equipped to address the most pressing current and emerging issues, and how Oregon can move forward. 

One of the primary goals of the initiative is to strengthen relationships between practicing planners and planning scholars, creating a venue where tough conversations and unwieldy problems can be wrestled with in a forthright manner.

This collaboration will lead to research on relevant issues and generate shared knowledge that can be put into action in our community. For example, diverse actors such as housing developers, community activists, and municipal planners can come together to address the growing lack of affordable housing in the state's regions. 

Learn more about activities from Planning Oregon’s first year, including daylong workshops on affordable housing in the Portland metropolitan region and in Hood River, Oregon, a rapidly growing recreation-oriented community in the scenic Columbia River Gorge. Toulan School faculty also convened panel discussions open to the public on topics such as improving public participation, the risks of urban heat islands, and farmland tenure and access (led by chapter 34 co-author Megan Horst).

Finally, in partnership with the state Department of Land Conservation and Development, the report People and the Land:  An Oral History of Oregon’s Statewide Land-Use Planning Program” gives us a look back at how the statewide program has evolved, through transcripts and recordings of interviews with many of the people who helped to formulate and implement the planning laws and goals that were adopted in the 1970s, connecting naturally to chapters 3, 4, 5, and 7, of Planning the Pacific Northwest.

The Planning Oregon initiative shows an ongoing commitment to understanding current and upcoming events in light of the state’s foundations documented in Planning the Pacific Northwest. It aims to inform the ways in which Oregon might move forward to do the planning that needs to be done now.

About the Authors

Sy Adler is associate dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs and professor of urban studies and planning at Portland State University. Connie Ozawa is professor of urban studies and planning and director of the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University.

Top image: Detail of Planning the Pacific Northwest cover. Thinkstock photo.


July 19, 2016

By Sy Adler, Connie Ozawa