The state of Oregon and the Portland metropolitan area in particular are well known for progressive growth management policies and pioneering leadership in compact, mixed-use development efforts. These efforts have their roots in the mid-1970s, when a Governor’s Task Force on Transportation redirected a major freeway expansion plan toward planning for a multimodal trans portation system and when the state legislature enacted Senate Bill 100. That bill required every city and county to adopt a comprehensive plan that met 19 statewide planning goals, including a requirement to establish “urban growth boundaries” (UGBs) to limit the extent of urbanization and protect farm- and forestlands outside these boundaries (Cotugno and Benner forthcoming).
Portland now operates under the 2040 Growth Management Strategy, which calls for focusing expected population growth in existing built-up areas and requires local governments to limit parking and adopt zoning and planning changes consistent with the strategy. The goal is that by 2040, two-thirds of jobs and 40 percent of households will be located in and around centers and corridors served by light rail transit (LRT) and bus. Leadership to develop this strategy is focused on a unique form of elected regional governance through Metro. In addition to being the region’s metropolitan planning organization, Metro has broad authority to ensure that local land use plans are consistent with the regional vision, has broad taxing powers, and plays a lead role in developing the LRT system and implementing TOD and open-space acquisition programs (A. Cotugno, personal communication).
Beginning in 1980, Tri-Met (the regional transit authority), Metro, the City of Portland, the City of Gresham, and Multnomah County