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Greening America's Communities: Multnomah County, OR

Cover of Greening America's Communities: Multnomah County, OR reportThe Jade District in southeast Portland, Oregon, is a diverse neighborhood that is home to many immigrants and refugees with over 140 languages. The district features international cuisine, ethnic small businesses, close-knit communities, and important local institutions. However, incomes are lower than average, and historical public disinvestment has led to a lack of key infrastructure, including limited local street network connectivity, local flooding, public park deficiencies, and limited pedestrian access.

As a result, Jade District residents experience stark economic and health disparities compared to the rest of Portland. In addition, the district includes major arterials and an urban state highway that have had several pedestrian and cyclist fatalities and even more pedestrian, driver, and cyclist injuries over the past two years.

Through EPA’s Greening America’s Communities Program, Multnomah County’s Office of Sustainability (located in Portland, Oregon) requested assistance to advance sustainable design strategies in the Jade District. These proposed designs are part of the Office of Sustainability’s ongoing work implementing the 2015 Portland/Multnomah Climate Action Plan.

EPA coordinated a team of federal and county agency staff and consultants to draft designs, incorporating community input and feedback gathered through workshops and focus groups during the project. The team selected three focus areas: Southeast (SE) 89th Avenue, the Fubonn Shopping Center, and Southeast (SE) Division Street. These focus areas represent conditions similar to other parts of the neighborhood, and the design options are versatile enough to be used throughout the district.

The designs are intended to inspire further public and private interest and investment in the Jade International District. The final chapters outline near-term actions, organized by the three focus areas, as well as mid-term and long-term actions focused on general coordination for the county, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), and other partners. Lastly, potential funding options are organized by source.

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