Metro claimed to be “Making the Greatest Place” with its 2009 regional growth plan known as the 2040 Growth Concept.
This week, the Environmental Protection Agency weighed in on the concept – which includes the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan, urban and rural reserves, and a 20-year growth management plan – by giving Metro a national Smart Growth award.
In other words, Metro might not be making THE greatest place in the EPA’s eyes, but it’s in the top five (the award also went to planners in New York, Baltimore, San Francisco and Maine).
Metro Councilors Kathryn Harrington and Robert Liberty accepted the award in Washington D.C.:
“This is a great honor for our region, and validates the policies and investments we have made to make our communities better and connect them with many types of transportation,” Liberty said. “The award is shared with all the community members who have provided political support and helped us tackle tough issues and change how our region grows.”
“The 2040 Growth Concept makes better use of land and improves ways to get around. As a result, land is used at a slower rate and farms and forests at the edge of the urban growth boundary are protected. The policies also increase travel choices where people live, which means they don’t need to drive as much. The average Portland resident drives four miles less per day than people in other U.S. cities of similar size. Transit and cycling are increasing faster than population growth, with more than 90 percent of the region’s residents living within one-half mile of transit lines.”