Portland one of Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge winners
Portland will receive services valued at up to $2.5 million to help reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emission as one of the winners of the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge.
"With these resources, we'll be able to develop and implement policies and programs that will keep Portland at the forefront of city leadership on climate issues. Now more than ever, this type of action at the city level is necessary if we are to seriously address the important and pressing issue of climate change," Mayor Ted Wheeler said when Portland was named as one of 20 winning cities on Wednesday.
The challenge is part of the $200 million-plus American Cities Initiative started by liberal billionaire and former New York Michael Bloomberg to support city efforts to fight climate change.
Bloomberg Philanthropies said that it included Portland because of the city's innovative and ambitious climate action plans to reduce air pollution and city-wide emissions with specific projects aimed at the transportation and buildings sectors, areas which are typically responsible for 90 percent of all citywide emissions and are areas over which mayors have significant authority.
Wheeler and Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly were also recognized for their commitment to ambitious climate action and securing a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment and economy for their citizens. Wheeler transferred the Portland Bureau of Transportation from Commissioner Dan Saltzman to Eudaly on Sept. 4.
"Cities are helping to keep America moving forward on climate change despite the lack of leadership from Washington, and this challenge was designed to help innovative cities reach their goals," Bloomberg said. "We were looking for cities with ambitious and realistic plans to cut emissions in ways that improve people's lives, and mayors committed to getting the job done."
The grants and technical assistance will be received by PBOT and the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. They will be used to:
• Manage congestion in the Central City with zero growth in single-occupant vehicle trips, expanding incentives such as the Transportation Wallet, that make it easier for all Portlanders to walk, bike or take public transport instead of drive;
• Use apps and other new data sources to provide analysis and evaluation of the City's upcoming public transit and bicycle infrastructure investments;
• Implement performance-based parking pricing and prioritize curb parking spaces to reduce congestion by encouraging higher-occupancy trips, such as public transit and carpools that use ride-sharing services;
• Ensure City buildings are highly efficient and powered by clean, renewable energy, in order to reach our goal of all facilities being carbon-free by 2030;
• Support the development of community-owned renewable energy projects like large solar arrays, especially within Portland's low-income communities and communities of color.
Other winning cities announced Wednesday are Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose. They join Seattle and Atlanta, who were announced last month. The remaining winners will be announced in the future.
For more information, visit tinyurl.com/ycenhxeb.