Op-Ed: Housing Solution Lies Within Urban Growth Boundary

Undoing Oregon’s urban growth boundaries won’t solve the state’s housing crisis, an opinion piece argues. Smart growth lies within existing cities.

1 minute read

December 5, 2022, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Portland

Portland and other Oregon cities have established urban growth boundaries that prevent development outside a designated area. | Sung Choi / Shutterstock

An opinion piece by Sam Diaz, Kim McCarty and Steve Messinetti in The Oregonian argues against removing the state’s urban growth boundaries, which restrict development within a certain geographic area around each city.

The piece is written in response to a November 12 column by Steve Duin that proposed eliminating the urban growth boundary as a way to relieve the state’s housing affordability and supply crisis. According to the authors, Duin’s suggestion “will not result in housing options near existing schools, parks, jobs, stores and services that most Oregonians can afford.”

As the authors explain, “The urban growth boundary is an innovative policy for designating land for development that continues to achieve its goals of preventing climate-harming and congestion-inducing sprawl while protecting land that grows our food and offers us moments in nature.” The article points out that cities without urban growth boundaries aren’t faring any better when it comes to the housing crisis, and that ignoring growth boundaries would promote sprawl.

The real solution, the authors write, is more complex. “We need a comprehensive approach that includes stabilizing renters at risk of eviction, land use policies that encourage density near jobs and transportation, funding to close racial disparities in home ownership, fast-track permitting and fee waivers to encourage affordable housing, and increasing availability of underutilized land within urban growth boundaries.”

Sunday, December 4, 2022 in The Oregonian

Green rapid transit bus pulled into station in dedicated lane.

Indiana Once Again Considering Ban on Dedicated Transit Lanes

The proposed legislation would impact the construction of planned IndyGo Blue Line, the third phase of the city’s bus rapid transit system.

February 25, 2024 - Fox 59

Aerial view of New York City architecture with augmented reality visualization, blue digital holograms over buildings and skyscrapers

4 Ways to Use AI in Urban Planning and City Design

With the ability to predict trends, engage citizens, enhance resource allocation, and guide decision-making, artificial intelligence has the potential to serve as planners’ very own multi-tool.

February 20, 2024 - ArchDaily

View from shore of Sepulveda Basin water catchment basin with marsh plants along shore.

LA’s ‘Spongy’ Infrastructure Captured Almost 9 Billion Gallons of Water

The city is turning away from stormwater management practices that shuttle water to the ocean, building infrastructure that collects and directs it underground instead.

February 25, 2024 - Wired

White BUS ONLY letters on red painted bus lane on street.

New York DOT Status Report Shows Slow Progress on Bus, Bike Lanes

According to a report released by the agency, NYCDOT failed to meet its benchmarks for installing new dedicated bus and bike lanes.

33 minutes ago - StreetsBlog NYC

Close-up of blue and white tsunami warning sign on coast in Monterey, California on gloomy day.

Washington State Requests Federal Funding for Tsunami Preparedness

The state’s Department of Natural Resources says it needs continued funding to map coastal areas at risk for tsunami impacts and prepare mitigation and evacuation plans.

February 27 - King 5 News

Overhead view of young children looking at plants growing in raised planter box.

Creating More Green Schoolyards in Los Angeles

Led by the Trust for Public Land, the “28×28” Initiative seeks to green 28 schools in Los Angeles by the 2028 Olympics.

February 27 - Spectrum News 1

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.