Posted by: ecodestination | April 16, 2009

Green Cities Tour: Portland, OR, USA

(image courtesy of

(image courtesy of

Oh, Portland. Home to over half a million people, many vegan restaurants, amazing bands (RIP Sleater-Kinney), bikers, tree huggers, DIYers, and the like. (BTW, check out Havi Brooks, a Portland-based wonderful coach/yoga teacher/inspiration source galore/lots of etc.etc.)

Check it out: by 2010 (2010!!!) Portland will be so green it will supply 100% renewable energy. Had you heard of solar-powered parking meters? I hadn’t. Holy shit that’s amazing.

Of course, this green hub has always been innovative in its eco ways. Back in 1903 it was already trying to get other US cities to heart green spaces in urban areas, for instance. Three decades ago it replaced a 6-lane highway with a waterfront park. (Wow.) Today the city boasts 92,000 acres of green space plus 74 mi. of biking, hiking, and running trails. Portland protects 25 million acres of forest and farms.

More: Portland employs fuel cells that run on waste methane (maybe farms should get on this, since cattle produce so much methane it’s screwing up our planet-ahem, thought about going vegetarian lately?), a micro hydro facility in its drinking water system, and microturbines that run on, again, waste methane. Next time you’re feeling gassy, think about that! (If you’re the gassy type, maybe consider powering your house that way. If only, huh?)

Portland’s the first US city to implement a plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The city helped found the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign and has been touted as a green city for a long time.

50 of the city´s buildings meet or exceed the US Green Building Council’s sustainability standards. The city is pedestrian and bike-friendly (hear that, Florida, Los Angeles, etc. etc.??) About 25% of commuters ride their bikes to work. There is lots of green amidst the drab cement or urban life (hear that New York? Mexico DF? Detroit? Santiago? Sao Paulo? Etc. etc.?)

‘Nuff freaking said.



  1. […] thought Portland was cool for its solar-powered parking meters? Well, it is. But Vancouver’s got solar-powered trash compactors! These babies hold 5 times […]

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