Memorial Day closure

Most City of Portland offices will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.

ENB-10.05 - River Renaissance Strategy

Non-Binding City Policies (NCP)
Policy category
Policy number
Non-Binding City Policy

WHEREAS, in September 2000 Mayor Vera Katz launched a community conversation to develop a vision for the Willamette River. More than 1000 Portlanders from throughout the city participated; and,
WHEREAS, in March 2001 the City Council endorsed the River Renaissance Vision (Resolution 35978) as a call to action for City government, businesses and industry, community organizations, neighborhoods and other agencies to revitalize the river as the centerpiece of Portland. The vision includes five themes: a clean and healthy river; a prosperous working harbor; Portland’s front yard; vibrant waterfront districts and neighborhoods; and partnerships, leadership and education; and,
WHEREAS, the River Renaissance Vision focuses on the Willamette River but encompasses the entire City of Portland, including the City’s watersheds, tributary streams and the Columbia River within Portland’s boundaries; and,
WHEREAS, a broad range of federal, state, tribal, regional and City policies, programs, and regulations affect the Willamette and Columbia Rivers and their tributaries, including but not limited to:
  • Federal programs that address water quality, endangered species, environmental cleanup, funding for infrastructure and restoration projects (Water Resources Development Act and Natural Resources Damages Assessments), estuary management, navigational channels, transportation funding, hazardous wastes, stream flow and water allocation, reservoir management, sewage overflows and flood management;
  • State of Oregon programs that address land use planning, water quality, stream low and water allocation, in-water development, wastewater discharge, watershed planning; industrial lands, port authority, environmental cleanup, hazardous wastes, fishing and hunting, water use, highways, salmon recovery and recreational boating;
  • Native American tribal programs that address fish, wildlife, water quality and cultural resources;
  • Metro’s programs that address regional growth management, transportation, greenspaces, and environmental planning;
  • Multnomah County’s management of eight Willamette River bridges in Portland; and
WHEREAS, River Renaissance strives to coordinate, integrate and shape the City’s response to these programs and requirements while achieving the City’s goals for its rivers and streams; and
WHEREAS, the City and its partner agencies have been and continue to collect data, analyze and summarize information and procedures and develop reports and watershed management plans in support of River Renaissance as described in the Willamette River Conditions Report; and
WHEREAS, the success of River Renaissance’s research, planning and implementation efforts requires an extraordinary level of coordination and collaboration among City staff and with other agencies, businesses and Portlanders; and
WHEREAS, the Directors of Planning (Chair), Management and Finance, Environmental Services, Parks, Development Services, Transportation, Water, Sustainable Development and the Portland Development Commission convene regularly to guide the City’s River Renaissance efforts; and
WHEREAS, the Planning Director has convened a multi-bureau River Renaissance Management Team to direct and manage the following efforts to advance River Renaissance:
  • Planning and project implementation;
  • Public Engagement;
  • Fundraising;
  • Showcasing early implementation projects;
  • Solidifying partnerships with agencies and organizations; and
WHEREAS, the River Renaissance Directors and staff have provided quarterly updates to City Council since the endorsement of the River Renaissance Vision; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor has convened a River Trust to coordinate with state and federal agencies; and
WHEREAS, River Renaissance has convened the River Industrial and Economic Advisory Group and the Watershed Science Advisory Group to advise City staff on technical, economic and scientific issues; and
WHEREAS, in April and May 2003, the City held a series of "Wade-in" workshops in which several hundred Portlanders invested their time and energy to provide feedback to the City on a broad range of issues that are central to River Renaissance; and
WHEREAS, in July 2004, the City published a draft River Renaissance Strategy and briefed and received feedback on the draft Strategy from various commissions, boards, councils, and committees including the Portland Planning Commission, Portland Design Commission, Sustainable Portland Commission, Parks Board, Urban Forestry Commission, Portland Development Commission, the Citywide Land Use Group, the North Portland Neighborhood Chairs, ONI Chairs and Directors, and Neighbors West/NW Board; and
WHEREAS on August 10, 2004, the Portland Planning Commission held a public hearing to receive comments on the draft River Renaissance Strategy; and
WHEREAS on October 1, 2004, the City published a proposed River Renaissance Strategy that addressed comments received from commissions, boards, and individuals; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that City Council adopt the amended River Renaissance Strategy included within Attachment A, River Renaissance Strategy (October 2004), and Attachment B, River Renaissance Strategy Amendments (December 6, 2004), of this resolution as a guide for City and Portland Development Commission activities; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following principles will guide City Council in the course of decision-making about City and Portland Development Commission investments, programs, and projects:
  • Consider the interrelated nature of the city and region’s economic, natural, social and cultural systems, striving to optimize benefits in each of these areas;
  • Allocate the responsibility for the costs and impacts of accomplishing the River Renaissance vision among public and private stakeholders in an equitable way;
  • Develop meaningful measures to monitor progress and success;
  • Consider the effects of current decisions on future generations, to preserve their choices and opportunities, and to reduce future costs and liabilities; and
  • Rely on civic leadership to demonstrate the River Renaissance approach through words, actions and public investments;
  • Target investment to maximize benefits and spur innovation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council encourages the Portland Development Commission, the Port of Portland, Metro, Multnomah County, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the State of Oregon and others to adopt or endorse the River Renaissance Strategy as a guide to its own actions and activities in the lower Willamette and Columbia Rivers within Portland and participate in an annual report; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that City Council consider the policy guidance in all decisions related to River Renaissance, including planning, capital investments and other river-related actions, and direct the Bureau of Planning to initiate an update of the Comprehensive Plan Goals and Policies to reflect the essence of this guidance; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the River Renaissance Directors refine a set of measures that will be used to gauge progress towards achieving the River Renaissance Vision, and commit to an ongoing monitoring and evaluation program; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the River Renaissance Directors shall update and modify the River Renaissance Strategy periodically to reflect current and future work programs, highlight new exemplary projects, refine progress measures, and refresh other sections of the document, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution be classified as non-binding city policy by the Auditor’s Office.

PDF copies of the Attachments (River Renaissance Strategy and River Renaissance Strategy Amendments) are available for download on the Bureau of Planning website.

Resolution No. 36276 adopted by Council December 8, 2004

Search Code, Charter, Policy