DESIGN + PLANNING TOOLS FOR GROWING COMMUNITIES
PDX MAIN STREETS
PORTLAND MAIN STREETS DESIGN INITIATIVE
Overview | The Sustainability Scorecard is a PDX Main Streets Design Initiative to create a triple bottom line "Impact Assessment" tool to evaluate building performance and community development impacts.
This tool would help community members and decision-makers to transcend politics and growth debates by providing a simple to use tool with accessible sustainability metrics to assess social, economic and environmental impacts. The Sustainability Scorecard would result in long-term value as a model for many jurisdictions that are experiencing similar growth and change.
Background + Need for a Sustainability Scorecard | As Portland and other cities grow there are many planning priorities which jurisdictions struggle to balance. Oregon is working hard to address much needed new housing that is also affordable while also experiencing many challenging impacts from rapid redevelopment that have made some question if Portland has “lost its way.”
Cities are often faced with trading one public good of adding housing with a cost to other public goods such as livability, demolition of historic and cultural resources (a significant impact of embodied energy) and loss of existing affordable housing/commercial space, as well as loss of solar access, urban heat island impacts, loss of tree canopy, watershed health impacts due to increased pervious surfaces, loss of local businesses and neighborhood serving amenities, increased displacement and gentrification, etc.
As we consider these trade-offs, we need new triple-bottom-line tools and metrics to help us measure impacts to sustainability as whole for both current decision-making and long-range planning policy.