Land use planning in the United States is authorized by the legal framework of the Constitution and the powers granted to the states by the federal government. State and local governments have broad latitude for engaging in land use planning. Ms. Hanling Yang, attorney and senior program manager from the China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development, provides background on America's representative form of government and its system of "checks and balances," and sets the context for land use planning from the national level passed down through state, county, and local levels of government. She explains the structure of land use planning in Oregon and how it is carried out in the state's counties, towns and cities.
Sustainable transportation planning principles deemphasize motor vehicle trips in favor of alternative means of moving from place to place. Portland has emerged as a national leader in bicycle commuting, public transit use, and innovative land use planning which encourages public accessibility to transportation alternatives while minimizing the impact on the environment. Dr. Jennifer Dill, associate professor in the School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University, lists essential elements of a sustainable transportation system, provides policy frameworks, and discusses aspects of the Transportation Planning Rule adopted by Oregon lawmakers in 1991. Dr. Dill explains how plans are created and implemented at the local level and shares results which reveal encouraging trends in public transit and bicycle use for commuting.
Decision making among government agencies and between agencies and the general public is often characterized by gridlock, confusion, and inefficiency. Over the past 25 years in the United States, considerable effort has been directed toward improving our understanding of collaborative processes in public decision making. Dr. Connie Ozawa, professor in the School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University, presents examples of how collaborative processes have been and might be applied effectively to enhance interagency coordination and public involvement. Her presentation highlights the challenges, structure and elements of successful collaborative processes.