On the Road: Sustainability in Portland

blog_pdx_indigo_wind_turbinesI was in Portland last week to speak on panel moderated by Susan Szenasy, editor in chief of "Metropolis" magazine called "Reinforcing A Sustainable Community." The discussion included insights on how other U.S. cities can learn from Portland's approach to planning and building and I presented Global Green's net zero affordable housing and sustainable neighborhood planning projects. I also had the opportunity to share innovations from California, including SB 375 and the Cal Green code--and it served as a great reminder of all the strides we are making in California. While there, I stayed at the Indigo apartment complex, a structure that's well-know for the wind turbines on the roof. I had heard people grumble about how the turbines were just for show because they didn't generate much energy. While the energy they generate is small compared to the building's overall use, what struck me was how engaging the turbines are as a part of the cityscape. When I was walking around the city and saw them from different angles, I realized that the wind turbines are like a functional kinetic sculpture that also send a subtle message about how we to make renewable energy production a core part of any city.