designs were chosen and became models
not only for Portland, but for international
This progression of the urban growth boundaries, infill, and the Living Smart program
showcase Portland’s dedication to constantly
evolving as a sustainable, livable city.
As the city continues to grow, the urban
growth boundaries are revisited every
twenty years to assess the population
growth within the city, and adjust the
boundaries if necessary. To better manage
the expansion of boundaries over time,
urban and rural reserves were created.
These reserves currently exist outside of
the urban growth boundaries, but designate
land that is of high value for farms, or of
high potential for urban growth.
These reserves do not change existing
zones, but they enable better long-term
planning by predicting which land must be
preserved and which land can potentially be
utilized for urban expansion in the future.
Portland density currently hovers around
4,740 people per square mile, but thanks to
thoughtful, sustainable planning, Portland
has been able to maintain its European vibe
with friendly, accessible streets and efficient
TINY HOMES AND ADUS
As sustainable living becomes an increasingly prevalent topic in today’s society,
Portland leads the pack in many urban
sustainability movements. The tiny house
movement is no exception. Tiny houses,
also called “accessory dwelling units” or
“ADUs” were born out of a desire to limit
consumption and decrease the environmental impact of homes by building very
small houses that optimize space and reject
the idea that bigger is better.
Tiny homes are typically 200 to 800 square
feet, and they’re becoming increasingly prevalent on the Portland housing market. Not
only are Portland residents typically progressive in their sustainability efforts, the city of
Portland has made it easier than many cities
to place tiny homes on property and reside
in them or rent them out, legally.
Portland, unlike most cities, allows for
the rental of both the primary property and an ADU built on the property,
without the owner residing in either. This
is making ADU’s a popular investment
for Portland homeowners, who can easily
rent them out while complying with the
city’s zoning codes.
GREATER PORTLAND AND
Portland has plenty of variation in housing
opportunities, but attractive homes and
communities lie beyond the city limits of
Portland as well. While the city of Portland is
a highly desirable place to live with plenty of
diversity in housing options, there are homeowners who still prefer to live further from
urbanity, with the opportunity to own bigger
homes and more land, while still remaining
close enough to work within the city.
The City of Portland requires home energy scores for homes listed or
advertised for sale (new, as of January 1, 2018). The score helps you
compare homes by revealing expected energy costs.
What’s the home energy score?
It’s a standard measure used to compare the energy costs
of one home to another. Developed by the U. S. Department
of Energy, the score is produced by authorized local energy
Who needs a score?
Single family detached homes or side-by-side townhouses
listed for sale inside Portland city limits need a score.
What does a score mean?
The score is a number between 1 (low) and 10 (high). 5 is
average. Higher-score homes are less expensive to operate.
Can you improve the score?
Yes! A home energy report includes a list of cost-effective
upgrades. For most homes this means some combination
of insulation, air sealing, and furnace or water heater
replacement. Upgraded homes usually re-score higher.
After I buy, how do I get started with upgrades?
The non-profit Enhabit helps you navigate upgrades, get
bids from qualified contractors, and connects you with
financing. Schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation at enhabit.org or call (971) 544-8710.
About the City of Portland’s
Home Energy Score