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Friday, December 16, 2011

In the O, more propaganda on the news pages

Today in Portland's moribund daily newspaper, we read that the population of Oregon isn't growing much any more. That's not news, really, but at least it's factual.

But then the reporter goes off on wild, unsubstantiated spin. It's because of the national economy. And recent trends will soon be reversed.

All that latter stuff, pure opinion, is brought to you by somebody at the real estate development firm known as Portland State University. And corroborated by some guy at the University of Utah. No dissenting view is offered -- nor was one even sought, apparently.

So by all means, let's keep building the apartment towers. Far be it from the O to say anything that might contradict the prevailing local myths. If any opinion is offered, let it come from the Old Money and their earnest "planning" disciples.

Comments (20)

Any day now the ground will rumble from the stampede of climate change refugees seeking asylum...

When I finished reading that article, I said to myself, "Everyone in this article is talking out of their a55."

If you don't have time read the whole article, here's the summary: "PSU says flood of people coming in 20 years. Build more condos."

In the same addition of the same Fish Wrapper We're going to adding 300,000 more jobs, so I guess it figures we need more condos.

I read that article as well Phil. New jobs in the health care and education fields are on the rise. Nothing produced and a bill left to pay in the end for the services. Once again we are back to the German inn-keeper.

"Nobody goes there anymore it's too crowded."

The Water Bureau has for years justified their urgent necessity to build storage tanks up on Powell Butte and now, Kelly Butte because of the so-called population boom destined to happen. All the while lying and denying that water use is declining even with the numbers right in front of them. Nevertheless multi-million dollar contracts are still getting signed to continue digging and building stuff we do not need now nor in the foreseeable future.

Don't forget the Manhattanites are already escaping the Island for their New Amsterdam homes.

Demographics. Perhaps we have exhausted the Gen-Y (?) crowd that came here to retire.

Weird isn't working. A lot of those out of state kids who came here to be cool and keep the college vibe going are having children, and for that and other reasons of maturity and stability want to get out of Dodge. Anarchy is a child's game.

Economy. Things are expensive here. Gen-Y is seeing the light about what it really takes to put down roots and make a place a home - like a career. And the Millenials are still living at home and they probably won't ever make the break to live elsewhere when they do get jobs.

Trends. Perhaps the whole Eco thing has run it's course for the post-college set. Related to the economy, everyone is much more pragmatic now about making a living. Also, I hear that BRTs are the new, trend in mass transit. Intra and intercity trains are soooo passé.

"Nobody goes there anymore it's too crowded."

How about nobody goes there anymore because it has been picked clean?

There may be a stampede, but out of here before the house of cards falls down.

There may be books written one day about how Portland was a beautiful city, and like a plum, ripe ready to be picked and picked and picked until.......

After all these years, Jack, you have finally ticked me off with this cheap shot reducing Eric Mortensen to a propagandist for developers. I know Eric is a conscientious, solid reporter, and I sincerely doubt he has much personal interest in apartment towers being built.

It is true that since Vera Katz, Portland has been trying to be more like New York, when I think New York would be a happier place if they made it more like 1970ish Portland. But the population growth is happening now, and every indication is that nationally it will continue, and that in about 30 years the country will have about 30 million more people.

The Oregonian has for decades talked to PSU about population trends because its population center has been one of the few places to find people who do those studies. Yes, the newspaper has a financial and until lately axiomatic interest in growth -- more readers, more advertising, bigger business. So do most businesses.

Eric went beyond the PSU source to get the views of “some guy at the University of Utah.” Flat out unfair, Jack, and thus not like you. Some guy indeed. With a co-author, Arthur Nelson recently published the most talked about new book on planning. Published by the American Planning Association, it says the planning of the future should or will focus on a couple of dozen megaregions, including the Seattle-Portland Cascadia region. The book makes the point that while we think of India, Japan or much of Europe as densely populated, Americans choose to live in even more densely populated concentrations and in all probability will continue to pack themselves into already crowded places. Thinking in terms of the megaregion, he believes, will change our whole political structure because the regions are more important than states. He has written or co-written dozens of scholarly articles, and is invited to share his research at places like the Wharton School of Finance. So it is not as if Eric went out and looked for somebody who would agree with the view that the almost-depression is a glitch in what will otherwise be a tidal wave of growth. He just asked one of the country’s leading thinkers on planning who has done the most recent research and conceptual thinking in the field, about what he thought. Then Eric reported some of what he said. I thought it was interesting, useful information, and his article showed some degree of enterprise.
A lot of us are sorry that Portland is no longer the city we moved to when it had one tall building and otherwise was built pretty much to scale. But Tom McCall said this would happen, and it certainly isn’t
Eric Mortensen’s fault.

MORTENSON, darn it. Sorry Eric.

Somehow, I don't think Tom McCall would have agreed that McMansions and estates would be outside the UGB while some neighborhoods are unduly densified with ghetto style housing. For those who think the plan is fine, need to take a tour outside of the glitzy pearl and downtown area. says the planning of the future should or will focus on a couple of dozen megaregions, including the Seattle-Portland Cascadia region.

I happen to think that the character of neighborhoods and a sense of place counts.
Do we really want others to follow our model being replaced with cookie cutter planning and multi-use developments? I can envision going from one city to another all the same much like chain stores. At some point, enough is enough of this kind of planning.

Published by the American Planning Association, it says the planning of the future should or will focus on a couple of dozen megaregions, including the Seattle-Portland Cascadia region.

It's just some guy's book. Like the "creative class" guy. Poorly reasoned speculation.

Where is the critic who says, "Portland isn't growing much because it has no economy other than government, which is going broke. And it's not likely to unless something changes in the region's attitude toward business"? Funny thing, Eric didn't call anyone like that.

one of the country’s leading thinkers on planning

That's like quoting the Pope as "one of the world's leading thinkers on religion." There are other views, many other views, they all have their agendas, and it's not good journalism to print one or two of them as fact.

Clinamen continues to echo my own thoughts about the quality of life coming from the place you live. I can't say it enough, but if one wants a high-density, urban, urbane experience, they should seek out places that offer the lifestyle that already offers that, and not try to make over another place into something that suits their fancy (or a planner/developer's dream scheme). The townies don't like it. And there is nothing wrong with saying NOT IN MY BACKYARD. It shows a pride of place and a realization of what quality of life means.

The Planning mantra of "there will be another 1 Million [pick your million] people coming, and we must do this" is everywhere.

In Tucson the bureaucrats/planners/developers are trying to justify building subsidized housing, convention center, convention center hotels, streetcars, you name it, all based on the "1 Million" mantra. It is repeated continuously in the local media, like just last week. Tucson metro area has 1.1 Million people, but they preach that in 25 years it will double. Statistics say otherwise, but they keep reaching it just like Portland. This Gospel is repeated at all the Planning seminars, conventions throughout the US.

I remember in the 60's when Planning of Great Magnitude was in its infancy. We seemed to do quite well with government responding to actual changes of any kind on a shorter term basis-essentially market based responses with some foresight-not agendas.

Planning is becoming a large portion of budgets, sometimes more than the actual executions dictated by the Planning.

I forgot the "p" in front of "reaching" in the third paragraph from the end. I should proof read.

But what if the millions of people come anyway, against our wishes? McCall told them not to stay here, back when Beaverton was still a small town.
Anyway, my point got lost in the other argument. I'm not defending superdensity. I described Arthur Nelson not because I agree with him but because calling him "some guy from the University of Utah" was unreasonably dismissive and unfair to the reporter.
Jack's a good guy, and so is Eric. Me too. But I don't live in Portland anymore. It changed, I moved. It is nicer where I am, but I won't tell you where that is.

Doggone. I reread the "propaganda," and it says almost nothing about Portland population growth. It is all about Oregon growth and regional growth. over decades. If more people are moving to the Seattle area, it probably won't mean more apartments here.
Let's face it, thanks to UGBs, Portland's population growth has largely occurred in Washington.

In Tucson the bureaucrats/planners/developers are trying to justify building subsidized housing, convention center, convention center hotels, streetcars, you name it, all based on the "1 Million" mantra. It is repeated continuously in the local media, like just last week. Tucson metro area has 1.1 Million people, but they preach that in 25 years it will double.

Well now, fellas - where you goin' with all that water?


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Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
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