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Oregon, The Free State

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Oregon, The Free State

Oregon, The Free State

Portland is one of the most beautiful and efficient cities ever developed in the United States. It is surrounded by the rich soil and forestry as well as the mountains and rivers that Oregon has to offer. From personal experiences, I can tell you that it is one of the most breathtaking picturesque places in the Country. However, developers see this place as an asset to their financial prosperity rather than a peaceful place. They want to continue with the latest trend by developing more shopping complexes outside of the city. And not only that but, also destroy historical buildings downtown for an expressway. Oregon's rich country and growth are becoming a threat to its own well being. That is why it is necessary for Oregon to continue with their zoning laws.

In attempt to rescue their city in 1978, they approved the nation's first directly elected metropolitan government, which coordinated the growth-management plans of three counties and twenty-four municipalities in the Portland metropolitan region. This government set aside an area of 234,000 acres which would be solely used for developing for the next 20 years. Everything else would be left for nature. That government would also look over each development plan in that area before it was constructed. This ensured nothing would be too drastic and ruin the atmosphere of the city. As a matter of fact the city was developed so that no buildings would block the view of Mount Hood, and so that no skyscrapers would run up against the river's edge.

Transportation was another problem for Oregon. The developers were constantly trying to demolish historic buildings to make way for freeways. Mayor Goldschmidt's response was, 'But in the rush to grab federal highway funds, cities built highways indiscriminately, against their long term interests, paving the way toward decentralization, disinvestment, and ultimate decay (Moe and Wilkie 220).' Instead, Portland wanted to do something else with their funds. Portland did not want little parking lots filling the city from all of the cars coming from the suburbs. Goldschmidt's words were,

'We have a downtown plan, an economic study, that says don't have these little, small postage-stamp lots. They're bad for circulation. They're bad for air quality. And they frustrate the parkers who expect to find parking when they get to these lots, but there isn't any there (Moe and Wilkie).'

Instead they constructed a fifteen-mile light-rail line to the eastern suburbs in the 1980's. It was free for the users in the downtown zone. Within fifteen years, employment ...

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