Integrating the Built and Natural Environment


The Urban Greenspaces Institute works to create great cities, cities where the built and natural environments are interwoven, not set apart. We promote the integration of urban green infrastructure—parks, trails, streams and wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat, urban forest canopy, and greenspaces—with the built environment. We work to ensure our region responds to Climate Change, both in mitigation and adaptation. Our motto, In Livable Cities is Preservation of the Wild, reflects our philosophy that well-designed, nature-rich cities are beautiful, equitable, compact, and ecologically sustainable places to live, thereby reducing urban sprawl across the rural landscape.

We work in partnership with The Intertwine Alliance, a coalition of other NGOs; federal, state and local agencies; urban planners; the urban design professions; and private groups, to achieve the creation, protection, and long-term management of the region's green infrastructure. To achieve this goal the Institute's work focuses on:

The Intertwine: to address issues associated with regional growth management, protection and restoration of the region's green infrastructure, and integration of the built and natural landscapes.

Sense of Place: Engaging Indigenous Peoples: The Institute is working with Portland State University's Indigenous Nations Studies Program to engage in outreach to the urban Native American community and tribes in issues related to The Intertwine and The Intertwine Alliance

Ecosystem Services and Green Infrastructure: documenting the multiple benefits and economic and social values of the green infrastructure.

Creating a Healthy Willamette River: through working to bring Ross Island archipelago into publlic ownership, creating quiet, slow/no-wake zones in the Portland harbor, and providing recreational activities and events that promote the protection and restoration of the river's greenspaces.