Posts Tagged ‘portland oregon’

The Portland State University (PSU) Institute for Sustainable Solutions hosts Solutions Seminars every Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., at PSU’s Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave.). These seminars “explore visionary and desirable solutions to the environmental, economic, and social challenges of our time.”

PSU’s journal Solutions: For a Sustainable and Desirable Future helps sponsor this series. Learn more about the Solutions Seminars series at the Solutions website here.

Past speakers have included:

    Robert Costanza, PSU professor of sustainability, director of the ISS, and co-founder and editor-in-chief of Solutions. He spoke on “Solutions for a Sustainable and Desirable Future.”


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In his post “Future City: Portland & Networked Urban Sustainability,” Alex Aylett provides a look “at some of the hits and misses of climate change policy in Portland (OR).” He sought to provide more than “just a summary of one city’s programs” to identify evidence of what he sees as “an important shift in the way cities are pursuing sustainability.”

Aylett finds that many cities in throughout the world are entering a new era of implementing sustainable practices, an era in which “retrofitting City Hall is nice, but the real game revolves around how we plan and travel through our cities, how we build and run our buildings, and how we make and use energy.” This “new phase of urban sustainability” is one in which the low-hanging fruit has been harvested (so to speak) and “cities are being pushed to tackle the really tough issues.”

Portland, according to Aylett, is “one of a handful of American cities that is really embracing the challenges of networked sustainability,” as evidenced by a number of organizations and projects in the area, including: Clean Energy Works Portland (CEWP); Green Building initiatives to achieve LEED certifications; and ecodistricts & the Portland Sustainability Institute (PoSI).

Readers interested in learning more about Portland or modern urban environments broadly are encouraged to read Aylett’s blog “openalex: cities & sustainability: reinventing the good life,” navigate to his article cited above, and to peruse as well his the other Portland-specific articles he has written, including:

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I just learned about a book of relevance to the SHP that is soon to be released:

This book is “a collaborative exploration of how small businesses can effectively and efficiently shift toward sustainability and thrive.” This exploration involves “Fifty-one small-business people from Portland” who “share their experiences with implementing sustainable practices in their companies.” The collaborative effort to create the book involved crowdsourcing. As the book’s website identifies:

    The difference between crowdsourcing and ordinary outsourcing is that a task or problem is outsourced to an undefined public rather than a specific other body. The difference between crowdsourcing and open source is that open source production is a cooperative activity initiated and voluntarily undertaken by members of the public. In crowdsourcing the activity is initiated by a client and the work may be undertaken on an individual, as well as a group, basis.

Mercy Corps Northwest is hosting a free-of-charge book release party for Portland Bottom Line on Wednesday, November 10, from 5-8 pm (with a program at 6) at Mercy Corps HQ, 45 SW Ankeny St., Portland.

The book’s website provides some sample chapters and a forum for other regional business professionals to share their stories.

** Updated soon after posting, with information from the editors. Thanks, editors!

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Portland area regional map, from Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies, http://www.pdx.edu/ims/regional-map

A critical first step in any study of regional sustainability is determining what has already been done. This post will be the first on this website to begin to gather such links. The information below complements the “Links of Interest” on this website, and also provides some insight into questions raised in the SHP post “On the history of sustainability in the Pac NW.”

This post highlights the work of the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies at Portland State University, and The Diggable City PSU Master of Urban and Regional Planning workshop.


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Students for Leadership in Ecology, Culture and Learning will be hosting the second annual PSU Sustainability Education Week, Nov. 6-12, 2010.

Students this quarter have been invited to attend one or more of the events and write-up a blog post about it for the SHP website, and anyone else interested in providing feedback, links, or other items for discussion are also invited to post a comment below.

Community partners for the event include:

and PSU campus partners include:

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For the Fall 2010 academic quarter, we will be looking at sustainability in the Portland area (broadly defined) through the lens of equity.

I’ve facilitated these courses since the Winter 2009 quarter, and I’ve consistently found that the majority of students don’t immediately think of equity issues when considering sustainability; most of them readily think of economic and ecological topics, but not necessarily equity, social justice, etc. That students tend to come to class with this perspective suggests an opportunity to bring this dynamic to the forefront for educational purposes. This quarter, then, I sought to address this issue directly and engage my students more explicitly with one of the Brundtland Commission’s three co-equal pillars: equity.


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Below is a selection of a few online videos relating directly and explicitly to sustainability efforts in Portland. Of all the videos available, I chose the ones that had the best audio, video, and informational characteristics while also representing as diverse a range of topics as possible.

For a more complete list of video works, including documentaries and films only available on DVD, see the SHP’s Film & Video page.

Suggestions are most welcome, in the comments section.


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One important part of student work in the course Documenting Sustainability in the Pacific Northwest is to do five hours of community service. Below the fold is Sean Cochran’s write-up after he volunteered for Portland Sunday Parkways.

Portland Sunday Parkways, May 16, 2010. Photo Sean Cochran.


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Three students attended some sessions of the May 20-22, 2010, Understanding Sustainability conference held at Portland State University (PSU). For some extra credit, these students then reported on what they learned.


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