Portland, Oregon

Biophilic Cities Member since October 19, 2013

Portland, the largest city in Oregon, is frequently recognized as one of the world’s most environmentally conscious cities due to its high walkability, large community of bicyclists, farm-to-table dining, and over 4,000 hectares of public parks. According to Lonely Planet, Portland has an almost unfair abundance of natural beauty, including beautiful parks, leafy trees, vibrantly flowering shrubs lining quirky residential streets, the Willamette River meandering through town, and Mount Hood on the horizon.
Portland is championed as one of the greenest cities in the world for its forward thinking initiatives. For example, Portland has become a champion of stormwater management by implementing a Green Streets initiative to reduce impervious surface and increase urban green space to increase infiltration of rainwater. It also was one of the first cities to implement an Urban Growth Boundary, requiring increased density and compactness within the city while protecting farmland and natural areas outside of the boundary. Portland also boasts one of the highest parks per-capita acreage in the nation, including large natural areas such as Forest Park and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. Portland’s proximity to nature in and just outside the city makes it an ideal city for biophilia.

City Contact: Matt Burlin, Environmental Program Coordinator, Stormwater System Planning at City of Portland
  • “In Portland, Oregon, through the advocacy of the community group City Repair, the city adopted and intersection repair ordinance, giving every neighborhood the right to take back and personalize the intersections closest to their homes as potential gathering and socializing spots. ” Tim Beatley
  • “Given its proximity to nature, Portland is unlike any place in the world.” -Kengo Kuma


Portland, OR, Floor Area Ratio Bonus

Floor area ratio (“FAR”) bonus for large-scale residential, commercial, and industrial developments in the city’s central business district for the installation of both “eco-roofs” and rooftop gardens.

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Portland, OR, Tree Code

Comprehensive tree code that addresses different scopes of development and provides technical specifications for planting and maintenance of trees.

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Portland, OR, Metro Habitat Protection Model Ordinance

Model urban wildlife habitat ordinance that incorporates a range of legal tools to conserve urban wildlife habitat, while at the same time providing regulatory flexibility for landowners and local government.

Portland Metro Title 13 Model Ordinance (Ordinance No. 05-1077C) (Sept. 2005).

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Local News

Portland's Inspiring Vision
June 21, 2018

An evening lecture from Tim Beatley in Portland, Oregon, marked an occasion to formally recognize the role of Portland as a founding partner city and …

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