City of Portland Succeeds in Reducing Greenhouse Gases to 1990 Levels

portland.jpgWith remakably little difficulty or cost, the city of Portland, Oregon, has succeeded in lowering its greenhouse gas emissions essentially to the level in 1990. While other cities have squabled about the costs of such an endeavor, or ignored it altogether, Portland has laid out a series of investments and infrastructure projects that have made it a leader of the pack worldwide – all while remaining one of the country’s most desireable cities.
Interestingly, city commissioner Eric Sten says that progress was made more by subtle land use policy than by mass civic involvement. Asked whether the general public cared about reducing fossil fuel use, Sten replied “I’m not sure the public does care.”

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

3 responses

  1. You think you have it bad. I live in Houston. We have no zoning (Houston is the anti-zoning city). Houston is nearly 80 miles across with no usable public transit system. We have an international airport, the third largest shipping port in the world (I think). Tons of chemical plants. Let’s see, wasn’t there something else, Oh, and the thing that kills us is that Houston was built on a swamp in the first place. Yee-gadds.

  2. Portland has one big advantage in lowering greenhouse gas emissions: They didn’t buy into the Federal Highway Program. They stopped the highway from running through the city and set development limits, and they created a light rail system.
    For my city (Harrisburg, PA) to do the same, we’d have to spend billions installing light rail, not to mention negotiating zoning regulations with the surrounding townships. I’m sure it’s the same for a lot of cities in the country.
    Or I could, ya know, move to Portland.

  3. Well done Portland. Here in the UK our CO2 levels have risen by about 2% over the past few years. Pity the government aren’t taking it more seriously.

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