The United Nations Environment Programme has chosen Portland to host this year's World Environment Day on June 5.
The celebration will include numerous events starting on Earth Day on April 22, and it will be part of other World Environment Day events in more than 120 countries across the globe. Other cities that have hosted the event in the past include Omaha, Neb., Chicago, Pittsburg, and Washington, D.C.
Elisabeth Guibaud-Cox, deputy director for UNEP in North America, said her office chose Portland because it is "on the cutting edge of sustainability."
She praised the city for turning a highway into a riverfront park, for setting an urban growth boundary, for being the first city to develop a plan to reduce carbon dioxide, for its high percentage of bicycle commuters, for its high recycling rate, and for banning single-use plastic bags.
"Rest assured, your efforts have not gone unnoticed by the international community," she told the Portland City Council today. "We don't want your wonderful stories to stay in Portland. We want other people to hear them."
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said hosting the event is "both an honor and a challenge" for the city to do more on environmental issues.