Please login first
City-university Partnerships and Capacity Building: Integrated resilience planning in Portland, Oregon
* ,
1  Portland State University
2  Institute for Sustainable Solutions


Climate disasters (such as landslides, floods, droughts and fires) pose an increasing set of risks to the economies, environments and livability of cities. Specifically, these disasters can have tremendous impacts on the infrastructure within cities (sewer, water, roads, parks) and the people that are supported by that infrastructure – with the most vulnerable populations bearing the strongest impacts. There are very few venues for integrated planning and implementation within cities because of rigid administrative silos, as well as structures and policies that reinforce those silos. Integrated planning and implementation requires tight coordination across multiple infrastructure bureaus. Without this coordination, it becomes extremely difficult for the different bureaus to identify and integrate their critical infrastructure interdependencies and address the increasing impacts of climate disasters. This case study describes how Portland State University (PSU) and the Institute for Sustainable Solutions collaboratively launched a new process for systematically identifying infrastructure interdependencies and then developing and resourcing integrated implementation efforts that build resiliency across multiple infrastructure systems. The project is called the Resilient Infrastructure Planning Exercise (RIPE) and is collaboratively managed by the University and 4 infrastructure bureaus at the City of Portland. The first phase of the project focused on building interest in the integrated planning approach as well as developing a collective agenda for advancing the cross-city work on infrastructure resilience. The project is now in phase 2 and has launched a series of interventions that leverage the university’s capacity for convening, research, and student engagement to make progress on the collective agenda for resilient infrastructure in the city.

Keywords: resilience; cities; universities; climate change; sustainability; partnerships; capacity