As the region’s population grows, one of the challenges to successful implementation of the 2040 Growth Concept is the development and maintenance of critical infrastructure necessary to build and enhance great communities.
Sidewalks, sewers, schools and parks don't just appear when an urban growth boundary expands or a community redevelops to accommodate more people or jobs. They are the results of careful planning and strategic investments, both with public and private resources, which support the development of vibrant communities that attract residents and employers.
All forms of infrastructure – from the streets we use to get to work and school and the pipes that bring water and carry away waste, to our parks, schools trails and open spaces that make our region a great place to live – require maintenance, upgrades and expansion of capacity to support current and future residents. Many communities are struggling to keep up with the costs of providing essential infrastructure. Major arterial streets and roads to serve new communities can cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Our existing pipes and pavement are aging; many water and sewer pipes are over 100 years old. Portland's school facilities may need as much as $1.4 billion in upgrades and repairs, according to recent estimates. ("School fixes could top $1 billion," The Oregonian, Dec. 15, 2007) Revenue sources that do not keep up with inflation provide less money for the development and maintenance of essential public services as demand for those services increases.
As part of the region's efforts to achieve the goals of the 2040 Growth Concept, Metro is working with local governments, service providers and the private sector to identify and address specific challenges related to financing and developing public infrastructure. This effort seeks to provide a qualitative assessment of the region's infrastructure needs and identify the service and funding gaps that must be addressed in order to build and sustain great communities. Learn more about 2040
An Infrastructure Advisory Committee consisting of local service providers, community development officials, private developers and business leaders was appointed to assist Metro with this analysis. Three public workshops were held to discuss the challenges of providing essential public services to new and existing communities. Learn more about the committee
An assessment of the region's infrastructure needs was offered at a public forum on May 28, 2008. A final report on the Regional Infrastructure Analysis was completed in July 2008. Based on this report, Metro and its partners are working to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the challenges the region faces in paying for and providing essential public services so that great communities can continue to grow and thrive throughout the region.
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Though the livability of our communities depends on reliable public services, the region's infrastructure systems face challenges with investment and maintenance shortfalls, uneven funding systems, and multi-layered jurisdictional patterns.
Throughout this analysis, Metro has engaged service providers, local elected officials, planning directors and interested citizens to identify the challenges of providing infrastructure and opportunities to work together to meet the region's needs.
Learn about the adopted update to the region's plan for a safe and reliable transportation system. View ordinances, supporting documents and other publications developed throughout this four-year effort.
Read a report evaluating the strategic use of system development charges to fund planning and infrastructure and promote vibrant communities.