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Urban Sustainability

Chinese delegates get the digs on sustainable planning in Portland

Chinese government officials are visiting Portland State this week to learn the how-tos of developing sustainable cities—using Portland as their model.

Alley Allies: Connecting our neighborhoods by building better alleys

It’s 8 a.m. on a spring morning in Southeast Portland in the year 2020. Roberto is ten years old. His mom hands him his lunch as he scampers out the back door and down the alley towards Arleta School from his home on Boise and 66th.

Capstone class combats waste with Lloyd EcoSwap

Portland State University Capstone students, teamed up with the Lloyd EcoDistrict, Community Environmental Services, and the Institute for Sustainable Solutions to host an EcoSwap event this August at National Night Out—an annual neighborhood event in the Lloyd district.

VIDEO | Community Environmental Services showcases New Seasons work

In April, Portland’s New Seasons Market grocery chain announced that they had achieved an impressive goal: Diverting 92 percent of their waste from the landfill, qualifying as a zero-waste operation.

The news was presented as an inspiration for other businesses and provided a showcase for the expertise of Portland State University’s Community Environmental Services unit, which conducted the research to back up New Seasons claim.

Urban Sustainability Accelerator hosts first class of cities

Their visit to Portland coincided with a spectacular spate of summer weather, the Oregon Brewers Festival and the achievement of an electric counter tallying one million bike commuters crossing the Hawthorne Bridge. In other words, Portland put a good foot forward when representatives from seven U.S. cities arrived in town for the PSU Urban Sustainability Accelerator’s inaugural convening. 

VIDEO | Students explore sustainable neighborhoods

In spring 2013, four University Studies Freshman Inquiry classes partnered with EcoDistricts around Portland to give students the opportunity to get on-the-ground experience with neighborhood-scale sustainability efforts. This is the story of one of those classes.

FRINQs in the EcoDistricts: South Waterfront

Fifteen years ago, Portland’s South Waterfront district was little more than a semi-vacant industrial brownfield. Today, as a designated urban renewal area and one of Portland’s pilot EcoDistricts, it has become what developers claim is the largest green development in the country. PSU students in Leslie Batchelder’s Freshman Inquiry course spent their spring term delving into the transformation of this Portland neighborhood.

Research hones in on the ultimate green roof

Last month, three researchers at Portland State marked the end of the first four years of research on the interaction between solar panels and planted green roof installations.

K-12 partnerships pave pathways to college

Over the past several years, the Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS) has been connecting PSU’s students, faculty, and expertise with K-12 schools and helping educate young students about sustainability issues. This is an effort to build more equitable and inclusive pathways to college, and to prepare more students with the background they need to begin tackling these issues.

FRINQs in the EcoDistricts: Gateway

Chet Orloff’s FRINQ class, which has studied different aspects of Portland’s history and infrastructure over the course of the year, focused its attention during spring term on the Growing Gateway EcoDistrict in northeast Portland.