Portland the Weird
Mayor Sam Adams "says Portland's success is 'totally replicable'. But much of it seems to be an unintended consequence of land-use policies dating back to 1973. Back then, Oregon adopted 'urban-growth boundaries' (UGBs) to preserve the farmlands that were then the mainstay of Oregon's economy. Over time the rationale for UGBs changed to "don't Californicate Oregon"-ie, don't become Los Angeles, a freeway sprawl with no centre. The result has been unusually compact living, which is in turn easily served by public transport."