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Nature-friendly development resources

Planning and conservation    Urban development and revitalization    Nature-friendly development    Nature-friendly development resources

Find and explore online resources, manuals, factsheets and case studies about nature-friendly development.

Featured resource

Nature in Neighborhoods' regional Connect the Drops map

Connect the Drops is a collaborative project between Metro's Nature in Neighborhoods program, Tualatin Riverkeepers, Clean Water Services, Tualatin Valley Water District, Sea Grant Oregon, Washington County and Oregon Environmental Council. Connect the Drops is creating a regional map of low impact development projects to highlight local projects and developers, celebrate successes and facilitate knowledge-sharing among professionals on a regional and national scale.

Use Nature in Neighborhoods' regional Connect the Drops map to find projects near you or check out Tualatin Riverkeepers' interactive Connect the Drops map for the Tualatin Basin.

Download the regional map
View the Tualatin Basin map

New report

Updated: Regional urban forestry assessment and evaluation for the Portland-Vancouver metro area

In 2009, Audubon Society of Portland and Portland State University's Department of Environmental Science and Management prepared a Regional Urban Forestry Assessment and Evaluation. Commissioned by Metro for the Portland-Vancouver Metro Area, this report provides a preliminary assessment of the status and effectiveness of local urban forestry programs and policies across the region.  The researchers found that these programs and policies vary widely between jurisdictions in their applicability, detail, funding, staffing, community interest and effectiveness.  The researchers recommended a number of areas where greater regional coordination and consistency would address gaps and support local efforts.Learn more

Featured websites

G-Rated Program

City of Portland's Office of Sustainable Development G-Rated Program offers free technical assistance for development projects in Portland, educational tours and classes, project guidebooks and grants that support innovative green building practices.

Low Impact Development Center, Inc.

The Low Impact Development Center is a national non-profit water resources research group with a mission of conducting research and training on LID and sustainable stormwater management. Resources include publications, pictures, and other resources.

Whole Building Design Guide

A Gateway to up-to-date information on integrated "Whole Building" design techniques and technologies.

City of Portland Sustainable Stormwater Program

Sustainable stormwater homepage. Links to tours of example projects, monitoring reports, demonstration projects, naturescaping, green streets, and ecoroofs.

Center for Watershed Protection's Stormwater Center

As a national non-profit, the Stormwater Center offers resources to technically assist decision-makers and the public on stormwater management issues. Resources include publications and manuals, slide shows, ordinance information, monitoring and assessment methods, and best management practices fact sheets.

U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council's core purpose is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life. Link to the Oregon, Washington and B.C. Chapter is the Cascadia Regional Green Building Council to see what is available locally.


Factsheets and handbooks

Stormwater Solutions Handbook

Portland, Oregon's Bureau of Environmental Services examples and information on sustainable stormwater management features.

The Office of Water Factsheets

United States Environmental Protection Agency's downloadable fact sheets on best management practices for urban stormwater, including bioretention, porous pavement, wet detention ponds, and many more.

Bureau of Environmental Services Factsheets

The City of Portland's extensive set of fact sheets include ideas, pictures and accessible information on nature-friendly practices.

Green Home Guides (factsheets)

A 'must read' if nature-friendly development practices are new to you. The City of Seattle's set of guides/factsheets focuses on ideas for homes that promote a healthy environment. Beautiful, visual guides for landscaping, roofing, salvage and reuse and other green building and remodeling options.

Green Building Tools

The City of Seattle's main green building website has all kinds of information about green projects of all scales. This site is very user-friendly and full of interesting facts about the growing green building boom and opportunities to go green.

Local experts

The Stormwater Awards 10-year Retrospective: A decade of lessons learned

On Nov. 7th, 2006, nearly seventy people gathered to explore and discuss the past, present and future of regional stormwater management throughout the Portland metropolitan region.

The 1996-1997 stormwater design award competition recognized twelve innovative, regional projects that effectively integrated stormwater management, urban design goals, and natural resource protection and enhancement into the urban environment.

Ten years later
Today, the Portland metro region is nationally recognized as a leader in facilitating and attaining sustainability through its stormwater management design. There was much to discover and consider after revisiting the 1996-97 award winning sites and extracting lessons learned after ten years of operating experience:

  • Had once innovative designs become mainstream?
  • How can we support better design in the future?
  • How can we encourage incorporation of proven site designs in future projects?
  • What is the next level of innovation and possibility?
  • What are long standing stormwater management issues?
  • Are there new strategies to overcome these recurring issues?
  • How can we foster long-term sustainability in stormwater management practices and facilities?
  • How can we improve the integration of water quantity control, quality treatment, and low impact development practices in stormwater management?

The event featured candid appraisal and evaluation of these questions by twelve expert panelists, followed by a lively group discussion. To learn more about the Stormwater Retrospective, view the event materials and videos listed below.

Related Documents

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Metro pick

Connect the drops

Connect the drops

Something to see on a rainy day! Green features in your neighborhood are hard at work at this time of year. Gear up for a springtime stroll to check out plants and sculptures that clean water in innovative ways and improve the health of the region’s rivers and streams. Use Metro’s Connect the Drops regional map to find projects near you or join one of the stormwater tours offered by the City of Portland.

Open the map
Find a stormwater tour

If you get a great photo of a green feature in action, send it to

Featured tool

builderconnect logo


BuilderConnect is a resource for residential builders to find what they need to build green. A couple of clicks connect you to professionals with incentives, certification programs, marketing tools and more. Go

Success story

Oleson Woods Apts

Oleson Woods Apartments

At Oleson Woods Apartments, this 32-unit affordable housing development maintained significant natural resources on-site by grouping housing around a preserved and restored wetland. This natural feature is a community amenity and continues to improve water quality and provide wildlife habitat.

Integrating habitats

Re-thinking the big box

Re-thinking the Big Box

Re-thinking the Big Box focuses on reducing our carbon footprint with sustainable behavior, as well as opportunities outside the building envelope that can make commercial developments sustainable community amenities.
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