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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. The 17 delegates are part of the China-U.S. Sustainable Land Use and Planning Training Program, which equips officials from all levels of Chinese government with knowledge to launch sustainability efforts in their home areas of China.

More than 500 Chinese delegates have been to Portland for the training since it began 13 years ago. Training organizers hope the sizeable cohort will continuously drive interagency collaboration toward sustainable land use policy across China.

At the welcoming ceremony, Jennifer Allen, director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, asked “a favor” of the delegates: “Think of ways to continue learning from each other even after you’ve returned to your home provinces.”

The training features presentations by researchers, regional planners, and private sector architects, investors, and property managers. Highlights include sessions on land use planning, mining management, farm and forest land protection, and site visits to Johnson Creek and a Sauvie Island farm.

“When we began this program over 10 years ago, we knew that exchanges between the U.S. and China would be an important legacy not just for our work, but for our children and grandchildren,” said Walter Evans, an attorney at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt who sits on the Board of Directors for the International Sustainable Development Foundation. “We’re working to bring our two peoples together as they each work to build sustainable solutions for the future.”

The training is hosted by the China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development and the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University.