Pacific Rim economic types get the lowdown on Portland's greenhouse gas work

The APEC visit featured a tour that took visitors to the rooftop garden at Oregon Health & Science University's Health and Healing Center.

The APEC visit featured a tour that took visitors to the rooftop garden at Oregon Health & Science University's Health and Healing Center.

PECI officials said international attendees of a group roundtable will take lessons on becoming “Low Carbon Model Towns” back to their home cities.

PECI hosted a roundtable from members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation on Tuesday. The Low Carbon Model Town initiative aims to transform cities through sustainable technologies such as solar and wind power, electric cars, water treatment systems and smart energy grids.

APEC members come from 21 Pacific Rim countries, including Japan, New Zealand, Russia and the United States. Participants came to Portland to learn more about the city’s greenhouse gas reduction initiatives.

During the roundtable:

  • Portland State University officials, including Jennifer Allen, director of the school’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions, revealed how local research and education efforts support Portland’s low-carbon model.
  • A Portland Transportation Department team detailed specific city policies.
  • Portland General Electric discussed energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.
  • Portland Development Commission’s team analyzed sustainable building designs.
  • Energy Trust of Oregon officials disclosed details of their energy efficiency programs.

Event planners also took their guests on a tour of Portland.

“It’s exciting that our hometown is earning international recognition for environmental stewardship,” said Phil Welker, PECI’s executive director.

“Portland developers had vision,” added Alisa Kane, green building and development manager for the city’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. “They said, we want to create a highly sustainable, highly livable, highly profitable neighborhood, and they went on to create the Brewery Blocks. For its time especially, it was very advanced thinking of what’s possible in a neighborhood.”

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