Search Google Appliance


News

PSU, Portland to create downtown climate change adaptation plan
Author: Laura Gleim, Institute for Sustainable Solutions
Posted: September 27, 2016

Bolstered by a $400,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation, Portland State University announced today it will work with the City of Portland and the Downtown Neighborhood Association to increase the area’s resilience to the impacts of climate change in tandem with similar efforts in two other western U.S. cities.

The grant-funded initiative, known as Climate Resilience in Urban Campuses + Communities (CRUX), is led by national nonprofit Second Nature and involves six campuses and their community partners in Portland, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.

The multi-city partnership will support campus-community task forces to develop pilot plans for adapting to the impacts of climate change, such as more severe storms, hotter summers, and increased flooding—all of which pose increased risks to human health, ecological systems, and city infrastructure. 

“Portland State has been committed to addressing climate change by reducing our carbon footprint since 2010, but that’s not enough,” said Jenny McNamara, PSU’s sustainability manager. “The new climate resiliency plan will help us anticipate and better adapt to the climate disruptions that are already happening and will continue to increase.”

The PSU-city task force will use data about projected local impacts of climate change outlined in the updated Portland and Multnomah County Climate Change Preparation Strategy to create a scaled-down plan specific to PSU’s campus and the surrounding downtown community. The effort builds on other academic-public sector sustainability partnerships PSU has pioneered, like the Institute for Sustainable Solutions’ Portland Climate Action Collaborative and Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative.

“The City of Portland is excited to partner with PSU on this important work,” said Michele Crim, sustainability manager in the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. “Downscaling preparation efforts from citywide to a neighborhood scale is a critical next step in building Portland’s resilience to the coming impacts of climate change.”

Organizers hope that lessons learned by the six pilot institutions will inform a strategy for increasing climate resilience across the nation through campus-community partnerships.

Institutions participating in CRUX include:

Portland

  • Portland State University
  • City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
  • Portland Downtown Neighborhood Association
  • Mt. Hood Community College
  • City of Gresham

Los Angeles

  • California State University, Northridge
  • Los Angeles Valley College
  • Northridge East, South, and West Neighborhood Councils
  • Greater Valley Glen Neighborhood Council

Phoenix

  • Arizona State University
  • South Mountain Community College
  • Hope College and Career Readiness Academy
  • Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona