As the “Green New Deal” made a splash in Washington, D.C., High Country News turned the spotlight on a little-know neighborhood in Portland, Oregon where the deal’s vision is already taking shape.
In the neighborhood of Cully, projects to create affordable housing in a rapidly gentrifying city have been paired with far-sighted sustainability efforts. Project managers are looking to incorporate features like green roofs and walls, solar panels, and water reuse systems into a new housing complex.
In the process, Cully is creating a route by which low-income workers can find well-paying jobs centered around sustainability projects. For example, the green housing features that Cully has in mind requires landscapers and construction workers. By pushing state and federal money towards these people to work on environmentally friendly projects, Cully is offering a real path for unskilled and low-income workers to make a living by contributing to a more sustainable future.
This is especially important because of the vague nature of the Green New Deal as it currently exists. Given all of the questions to be answered, the tiny neighborhood of Cully could become a national model for how a Green New Deal could play out across the country.