NOVEMBER 1997

 

NOVEMBER 1997 FULL ISSUE PART ONE PART TWO

THE ROOTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF CASCADIA’S RUNAWAY GROWTH

By KATHIE DURBIN

Tom McCall, Oregon's late and legendary governor, would have been proud. In a Portland State University conference room on a sunny Saturday last month, more than 600 people gathered to consider a heretical concept: The end of growth. It was fitting that this path-breaking gathering rook place in Oregon, the state that pioneered comprehensive land use planning to control growth and urban growth boundaries to contain it. It was Oregon that elected McCall, who advised outsiders, in a 1971 interview with the CBS Evening News, to visit, "but for heaven's sake, don't come here to live."  

That year Oregon's population hovered at just over 2 million. Now it's 1997, and even with land use planning, the state has added another million people. By 2015, the population of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area alone is expected to vault by another 700,000, to 2.2 million, with explosive growth in Washington's Clark County helping to fuel the increase. To help accommodate this growth, Metro, the Portland area's regional government, has expanded its urban growth boundary by 4,500 acres.

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Paul Koberstein