Over 40 senior planning officials from China's Ministry of Land and Resources are in Portland today for the beginning of the China-U.S. Sustainable Land Use Training Program, sponsored in part by Portland State University.
This marks the fourth year of the five-year program, which has so far brought over 200 Chinese officials to Portland to study and to observe, first-hand, proven techniques for managing growth.
The program is run through the National Policy Consensus Center and the School of Urban Studies and Planning, both housed within the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University, and the Portland, Ore.-based China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development. A second group of 40 from China will visit Portland October 11-19, 2004.
The goal of the training is to build the capacity of Chinese leaders in sustainable land use and development, to create a two-way exchange of ideas between experts from both countries and to serve as a catalyst for project development and joint ventures. Curriculum includes planning principles in the Portland-metro area, farmland protection in the Willamette Valley and in Oregon's wine country, sustainable forestry and planning for geophysical hazards. Participants will also learn consensus-building and community engagement techniques. The program combines the expertise of the College of Urban and Public Affairs faculty with the practical experience of government and business leaders.
"This is a great example of how knowledge in a university can serve not only our metropolitan region, but in fact can serve the entire world. The China program shows how things are changing in Portland and how people are changing their environment around the world." said Larry Wallack, dean of PSU's College of Urban and Public Affairs.
During this visit, participants will tour several area sites. On Thursday, September 16, the group will tour several Westside locations including Orenco Station in Hillsboro, Cooper Mountain Vineyards in Beaverton, and Fisher Farms in Gaston; on Friday, September 17, the group will tour sites in Gresham and Clackamas County; and on Saturday, September 18, they will visit sites in the Columbia River Gorge. For the first time this year Chinese officials will travel to Phoenix, Ariz., after leaving Portland to study issues specific to Arizona's climate, including semi-arid area development.
The China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development was founded in April 1999 to accelerate sustainable development through a new form of cooperation among business, government, universities and community leaders. The training program was conceived in the year 2000 during a visit to the United States by Vice Minister Li Yuan of China's Ministry of Land and Resources. By the program's completion in 2005, over 350 Chinese planning and government officials will have completed the program.
Media interested in attending workshops or accompanying participants to site visits should contact Jennifer Allen, Portland State University, 503-725-8546, or Hanling Yang, China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development, 503-279-9383.
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