John C. Spencer has had a 45-year career as a results-oriented leader and professional planner who has played a key role in the changing face of the Portland metropolitan region and communities throughout Oregon and the Northwest. As a practitioner, John has prepared plans and implementation strategies for urban neighborhoods, mixed use development and redevelopment projects, and provided numerous examples of “density done well” to serve as success stories and examples for others to follow. Many of these projects involved the “re-purposing” of under-developed properties into some of Portland’s signature neighborhoods. In one of his most important contributions, John has helped numerous Portland metro area jurisdictions comply with the smart-growth vision embodied through Metro’s (the Portland area’s regional government) 2040 Growth Concept by helping them plan for taking their anticipated share of future population and job growth, and for steering this growth into regional centers, town centers and corridors.
As a leader, John has made significant professional and leadership contributions to the City of Portland, the Portland region and the state of Oregon. He served the Portland Design Commission for eleven years in the role of commissioner, with six of those years serving as chair. In this service, John helped enable the planning, design and development of many of Portland’s most important projects, including Pioneer Place, the Federal Courthouse Building, the Rose Quarter, the Rose Garden arena, and numerous other major redevelopment projects and transportation projects, including the Westside Light Rail and Portland Streetcar. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Oregon Downtown Development Association, charged with bringing the smart growth principles of the Main Street Program to Oregon’s smaller cities.
As a practitioner and as a leader and volunteer, John has truly advanced the art and science of planning, design review, and getting quality development and envisioned futures in Portland, and in Oregon. John has made a difference by applying the principles of smart growth and quality development where it counts - on the ground. Some men plan, others deliver. John has made a career of delivering a better Portland and a better Oregon.