Sustainable Master Plan and Public Participation Program at Portland International Airport
LOCATION: Portland, Oregon, USA
LeighFisher was the lead planning and sustainability consultant selected to update Portland International Airport’s Master Plan. The planning process, referred to as Airport Futures, was a collaborative process involving the Port of Portland, the City of Portland, and the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan community to create a long-range (through 2035) sustainable Master Plan for Portland International Airport and a city land use plan governing the Airport and its environs.
Airport Futures not only promoted the general public’s awareness of the Port’s programs to protect the environment, but also facilitated a comprehensive community discussion on the principles of sustainable development. This discussion resulted in identification of the community’s vision and values, integration of sustainability principles into the Airport development plan supported by financial analysis, and the commitment to develop the Airport in a manner that contributes to the long-term economic, environmental, and social health of the region.
Determining the desired balance among economic, environmental, and social values was greatly facilitated by applying a set of sustainability criteria:
- Preserve future development options
- Minimize environmental impacts
- Use land resources efficiently
- Maximize operational efficiency
- Ensure that development can be effectively phased
These sustainability criteria were applied continuously throughout Airport Futures and were supported by comprehensive financial analysis to demonstrate the economic business case behind every decision.
The commitment demonstrated by the Port stressed the importance of protecting the environment for future generations, an ongoing public involvement process, and making sound business decisions based on economic evaluation. The process built consensus by all stakeholders through meaningful public dialogue related to Airport planning and development and an increase in public awareness about the Airport and affected communities.
Based on its sustainable Master Plan for Portland International Airport, the Port of Portland received the Airports Council International-North America’s 2010 Environmental Achievement Award for Outreach, Education, and Community Involvement.
- Produced a long-range development plan to meet the region’s aviation needs, is flexible, enhances capacity by increasing operational efficiency and favors reuse and redevelopment
- Produced an implementation strategy for the recommended Master Plan projects that is affordable and based on demand
- Facilitated a large and complex public outreach effort which achieved consensus for the master plan across its multiple stakeholders
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