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The Portland Edge: Challenges and Successes in Growing Communitiesby Connie P Ozawa
Synopses & Reviews
Portland, Oregon, is often cited as one of the most livable cities in the United States and a model for smart growth. At the same time, critics deride it as a victim of heavy-handed planning and point to its skyrocketing housing costs as a clear sign of good intentions gone awry. Which side is right? Does Portland deserve the accolades it has received, or has hype overshadowed the real story?
In The Portland Edge, leading urban scholars who have lived in and studied the region present a balanced look at Portland today, explaining current conditions in the context of the people and institutions that have been instrumental in shaping it. Contributors provide empirical data as well as critical insights and analyses, clarifying the ways in which policy and planning have made a difference in the Portland metropolitan region.
Because of its iconic status and innovative approach to growth, Portland is an important case study for anyone concerned with land use and community development in the twenty-first century. The Portland Edge offers useful background and a vital overview of region, allowing others to draw lessons from its experience.
Book News Annotation:
Portland, Oregon has been touted, not always by itself, as one of the most "livable" cities in the US. Set in a lush river valley, framed by the Coast Range and the Cascade Mountains, blessed with generally temperate Pacific maritime weather, and inhabited by what appears to be a very large number of progressive urban planners, Portland is a magnet for those drawn to such attractions. However, Portland is pricing much of its populace out of the housing market, it often has the highest unemployment in the nation, and its people have just voted in a measure that could stop its style of land use planning in its tracks. Ozawa (urban studies and planning, Portland State U.) and her contributors (many of whom, such as Carl Abbot and Chet Orloff, live in Portland) examine how well the promises of the last generation's experimental approach to development and government have actually worked. They report on the effect planning has had on the economy, local government, and Portland's downtown. This is a good baseline for comparison in the coming years with new policies on planning coming into operation.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Connie P. Ozawa is professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University.
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