Oregon Land Use Planning System Is Honored By Harvard

Craig Beebe, 1000 Friends of Oregon Communications Intern

Oregon's landmark land use planning system has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Innovations in Government by Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, the university announced this week.

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, housed within the JFK School of Government, is honoring government programs that "offer unique solutions in health and wellness, social services delivery, the environment, economic development, and education policy areas." The Top 25 Innovations are semifinalists for a single Innovations in American Government Award; five finalists and the winning program will be announced in the fall. 

"These programs represent the best in creative problem solving of local, state, and federal municipalities around the country and were selected from a pool of more than 500 qualified government applicants," the Harvard press release notes. 

Oregon's land use planning system was created in 1973, two years before the founding of 1000 Friends of Oregon. Though the system has faced many tests and challenges, it has protected many thousands of acres of productive farm and forest land, contributing to the vaunted quality of life and beauty of our state. In fact, according to a recent study by the Oregon Department of Forestry, over 98% of the state's privately-owned resource lands remain in the same use as they were in 1974, providing economic, environmental, and scenic benefits, and protecting rural livelihoods throughout Oregon.

For more information on the competition, see the Ash Center's webpage.