As the population of United States grows more should follow the lead of Portland and become more proactive in their transit planning and funding. To address the future needs of their citizens cities are going to have to change building codes to require more LEED building and parks and the development of more open space areas.
Portland, Oregon, with its LEED buildings, transit light rail and urban parks is providing a pleasant environment for its population. This is much healthier all round for the people who live there than cities without those things. They create an attractive urban environment, with a more relaxed and open feel than other cities, and should be a model for less well-planned cities to aspire to.
Cities like Oregon are ahead of the game. Leed buildings and transit rail systems are what brings communities together. People can find better jobs and better housing by opening up the door to newer and smarter ways to make cities come together. This is a new way for other cities to take heed and think smarter and greener.
What works for one city won't always work for the next. That isn't to say that Portland hasn't done a nice job or that they couldn't be a good comparison for other cities. Each city has it's own separate issues and the people in those cities should help the local government to make the best decision for the people.