Thursday, March 15, 2007

Portland Plans for Peak

The City of Portland has just released the recommendations of their Peak Oil Task Force

The Task Force recommends preparedness on two different levels. Most of the recommendations seek to reduce Portland’s exposure to rising fuel prices, anticipating the economic and lifestyle adjustments that will be needed in the future.

Other recommendations prepare Portland to maintain community stability as volatile energy markets trigger conditions ranging from emergency shortages to longer-term economic and social disruption.

Reduce Portland’s exposure: The Task Force proposes cutting oil and natural gas consumption in half, transforming how energy is used in transportation, food supply, buildings and manufacturing.

It proposes strategies to maintain business viability and employment in an energy-constrained

Strengthen community cohesion: However well Portland succeeds in its energy transition, it will not be able to isolate itself from global energy crises or the resulting economic implications. The Task Force sees the potential for profound economic hardship and high levels of unemployment, and it recommends having plans in place to adapt social and economic support systems accordingly.

Similarly, contingency plans are needed for fuel shortages that may last for months or years, well beyond the time considered in existing emergency plans.

The Task Force recommends a comprehensive package of actions, proposing strategies to initiate institutional change and to motivate action by households and businesses. The recommendations propose major changes for Portland, but the Task Force believes their implementation can have a positive social and economic impact as local residents and businesses spend less on imported fuels and redirect dollars into the local economy.

This presents a significant economic development opportunity for Portland."

According to Tom Whipple of the Fall Church News Press ,Portland plans to achieve these reductions in consumption by 50% with known solutions,

"The recommendations as to how to achieve such a reduction, even over two decades, are pretty straight forward: mass transit, better land use, walkable communities, far more efficient vehicles, freight moving from planes and trucks to rail and water, building standards improve, and above all, education.

There are other features of the report, such as emphasis on joint planning and coordination with surrounding and other levels of government.

Again, for the first cut at describing what is likely to be one of the major paradigm shifts of the 21st century, the folks in Portland have done an excellent job. Much of what they say is applicable everywhere so their report might turn out to be an instant classic. "

The nice thing about this plan for Peak Oil,

Is that it could also just as well be a plan for mitigating Climate Change.

Any city that wants to address either

must deal with transportation and city design.

We must stop designing and building for the car,

and start making our cities for those who live in them,

the people.

We might not only find that an economic opportunity,

We might find it to be a Walk in the Park.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy Toledo! If Portland believes there is going to be that much economic and social crisis, sounds like we are all in for a very bumpy ride.

And 50% reduction - that is awesome!

EU just made its 20% reduction a committment last week.

10:48 AM  

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