Portland State University will host the screening of Portland: Quest for the Livable City, the documentary film produced by Northern Light Productions with the Lincoln Institute, at 7 p.m. on October 14 at Portland State University, Columbia Falls Ballroom at University Place, 310 SW Lincoln St., Portland. Following a welcome by Portland State University President Wim Wiewel and the showing of the film, a panel discussion will include Armando Carbonell, senior fellow and chair, Department of Planning and Urban Form, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; Tim Lay, Northern Light Productions; and Ethan Seltzer, professor, Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University. The event is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served.
The film, which chronicles Portland's attempts to reduce its carbon footprint and grow more densely within the urban growth boundary, has been airing on public television stations around the country, but this is the first premiere event including many of the people who appear in the film. Congressman Earl Blumenauer has also been invited to attend, his schedule permitting.
Incorporating historic footage of Portland and interviews with city leaders and neighborhood residents during the battles over the ballot measures -- Measure 37 and Measure 49 -- on the land-use planning system, Portland: Quest for the Livable City is a cautionary tale for planning in the 21st century. As cities across the country today attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, invest in transit, and focus on infill redevelopment as an alternative to car-dependent sprawl, the experience of Portland underscores a complex web of issues including economic development and jobs, gentrification, local food and farming, property rights, and civic participation. View the trailer here.
"Portland has been a notable experiment in land use planning, and the film shows how challenging that can be," said Gregory K. Ingram, president of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. "The issues that come to life in the film - property rights, the value of land, density and transportation, planning and citizen participation - include many that we think cities all over the U.S. will need to confront."
The first films in the Making Sense of Place documentary series were Phoenix: The Urban Desert, which examined the sprawling growth and associated issues of that metropolitan area, and Cleveland: Confronting Decline in an American City, a look at a shrinking industrial city and its efforts to reinvent itself. All the films have aired on public television stations across the country.