Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 2nd, 2010 at 3:22 pm
Two Metro councilors — Kathryn Harrington and Robert Liberty — traveled to Washington D.C. yesterday to accept a National Award for Smart Growth Achievement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Metro was one of five communities to be recognized. They received the award in the “Policies, Programs, and Regulations” category specifically for their 2009 Making the Greatest Place campaign. That effort helped spur action their regional 2040 Growth Concept plan.
In a statement, Robert Liberty said, “This is a great honor for our region, and validates the policies and investments we have made to make our communities better and connect them with many types of transportation.” Kathryn Harrington added that it’s “nice to be recognized at the federal level for the groundbreaking work in our region”.
One of the key policies that came out of Metro’s “Making the Greatest Place” planning project was to maintain the urban growth boundary and then increase travel choices close to where people live so they don’t need to drive as much. Because of this, Metro says the average Portland resident drives four miles less per day than people in other U.S. cities of similar size.
Metro also points out that, “Transit and cycling are increasing faster than population growth, with more than 90 percent of the region’s residents living within one-half mile of transit lines.” Thanks to the Portland Bureau of Transportation, by 2013, about 80 percent of Portlanders will live within a half-mile of a bike boulevard.