homegrown food builds community, improves health and
reduces reliance on the global economy.
The general consensus that emerges in this section
is that Portlanders of all income levels should have
access to multiple sources of fresh, local food. There
are no opposing viewpoints voiced, just many requests
for more local gardens, more urban agriculture and even
greater community awareness around the benefits of local
food. Portlanders envision a future in which eco-roofs,
converted parking-lots, vacant lots and other under-utilized
spaces provide local, healthy and affordable food for
the city’s residents. Many also envision more community
education around urban gardening, permaculture and the
“how” and “why” of local food production. A major theme
that runs through this section is equity in access to
local food. Respondents consistently express the need
to increase access to local food among low-income populations
so all Portlanders can benefit from the region’s agricultural
value access to high-quality, local food and want
to facilitate its production and consumption.
value access to high-quality, local food and
want to facilitate its production and consumption.
- Many Portlanders are proud to live in a
city that provides so much access to fresh,
- Many envision a future in which most of
the food Portlanders eat is produced locally
(one person says 80% produced within 50 miles).
- Portland is envisioned by many as a “food
mecca with vibrant nearby agriculture.”
- Portlanders see many benefits to supporting
local food production, including:
- Reducing dependence on fuel;
- Building a strong local economy;
- Improving residents health and reducing
- Building community by connecting neighbors
to each other as well as to food producers;
- Combating pollution;
- Increasing people’s connection to nature;
- Fostering regional self-reliance; and
- Creating a more vibrant urban eco-system.
2030] everyone in the city is fed by farmers
markets, cooperative stores, and grocery
stores that sell food grown in Oregon,
Washington, and Northern California. Many
people have urban gardens that provide
lots of food (just like Cuba), people
keep chickens and rabbits in pens in their
2030] Most people are gardening at least
a little bit in their yards or community
plots. Portland supplies the vast majority
of its own food from within a 100 mile
radius. Neighborhoods have village squares,
car share clubs, community childcare,
community farmers within the neighborhoods…We
have neighborhood orchards and community
commercial kitchens for value added production.”
2030] each neighborhood grows lots of
their own vegetables, grains, and protein
sources… The terms ‘green building’ and
‘organic food’ become so normal, affordable,
and commonplace that they are just referred
to as ‘building’ and ‘food.’"
- There is strong appreciation for the fact
that local food is already available at many
retail outlets (New Seasons is mentioned as
an example of what should become the norm);
- Many respondents would like to see even
more local produce available at grocery stores,
especially those that service lower-income
- Overwhelmingly, respondents value neighborhood
- Some respondents would like to see a big,
full-time Farmers Market downtown similar
to the Pike’s Place market in Seattle.
- Many respondents would like to see even
more farmers markets in Portland, especially
in low-income neighborhoods that currently
lack access to fresh, local food.
would like to see] farmers markets, community
gardens within walking distance (.5-1
mile) of every household.”
- Have the City provide free space
for farmers markets in low-income neighborhoods
to reduce vendor fees and have that reflected
in lower produce prices.
Urban Farms and Community Supported Agriculture:
- People want to encourage the growth of
community supported agriculture groups (CSAs)
and would like to see more Portlanders accessing
- In particular, people would like low-income
individuals to have greater access to CSAs.
- Change Zoning to encourage urban
- Create City-owned CSAs in different neighborhoods.
Residents could design these and use them
to grow their own food.
- Create “a fund that would allow people who
can’t make lump payments--which many CSAs
require--to make incremental payments.”
- Provide subsidies so low-income people
can participate in CSAs.
- Create “a regular food showcase that features
that incredible diversity of food entrepreneurs
Home Gardens/Food Production:
- Respondents envision many more people growing
food at home by converting backyards and front
yards into food-producing gardens.
- Many people would like to see more green
roofs and rooftop gardens throughout the City
on both public and private buildings.
- Some people want to see more chickens and
goats in urban areas combined with more education
on how to raise and care for livestock.
think we could create projects to introduce
community gardens (like the Diggable City)
but also focus on green roofs like, for
example, they are doing in Chicago.”
- Tax breaks for backyard vegetable
gardens and/or incentives to turn lawns and
parking strips into gardens.
- “Make it legal to have several hens and
one rooster on a standard 50 x 100’ lot.”
[Currently, roosters are not allowed to be
kept within city limits; residents are allowed
to have up to three chickens without a permit.]
- Increase community education/learning for
children and adults around the benefits of
local food production and how to grow their
own food using different techniques, such
as organic gardening and permaculture.
- Some envision community centers and gardens
in every neighborhood that grow food for the
- Many want to see low-income populations
gardening more, which could lead to improved
health and nutrition, greater self-sufficiency
and stronger community networks.
2030] instead of multiple unit, cookie-cutter
townhouses and condo units, the city’s
empty lots have become community gardens
and small farms providing food for many
and education for younger generations.”
- “Help with the community garden
at 16th and Johnson.”
- The City should purchase vacant lots for
community food production.
- “A city-supported gardening center to
be the hub for all other gardening associations—a
single place where a city dweller can go
to get information about all of Portland’s
- “I would like the community garden program
to have a Master Plan in which the city
plans how to have a community garden within
walking distance of everyone.”