I love my adopted city.
One of the things I am grateful for is how easy it is to be green. We have curbside recycling, which got even easier this summer. We've had an urban growth boundary for around 30 years, which has encouraged inner city development, denser living, and multi-purpose buildings. Farms are close by. We are number 1 in many sustainability indicators, look here. You can see from the chart that one of the downsides of avoiding urban sprawl is that there's less affordable housing. I have to say, though, that part of the charm of Portland is that people find ways to make it work not only through housemate situations, but through intentional communities. I just found out a co-worker of mine is part of a group developing one right in the city...building separately-owned condos around shared space...and they will do things like share meals and child care. I think we'll only see more of that creative kind of thinking in years to come.
What really sparked this post of thankfulness is my own employer. I am so grateful I work for such a forward-thinking county. The latest evidence is the eco-roof on top of the Central Library. (For those who don't know, I first started working for the library almost 15 years ago at the Central Library. There was scaffolding around the walls to protect us in case the walls came tumbling down. Three months after my hire date, we moved the books et. al. and the building was gutted, made safe, and beautifully renovated.) During that renovation a partial 5th floor was added for meeting rooms and offices...so I've seen that plain grey roof quite a few times. That landscape photo above looks out on the roof and the city view from up there. I wish the view were always open to the public, especially now we have the eco-roof.
Public tours are available, sign up here.