All Sustainability History Project Oral Histories


Steve Cohen

Streaming Media

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51 minutes


Urban agriculture, Sustainable agriculture -- Oregon -- Portland


Interview of Steve Cohen by Chris Stephens at Ecotrust Building, Portland, Oregon on July 28th, 2009.

The interview index is available for download.


As of 2012, Steve Cohen managed food policy and programs for the City of Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. He was also responsible for staffing the Portland-Multnomah County Food Policy Council, a citizen advisory panel that reports to the Portland City Council and Multnomah County Commissioners. He was born and raised in Chicago, and earned a BS in Speech from Northwestern University.


At the time of this interview, Steve Cohen managed food policy programs within the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. These programs require work on zoning, purchasing, and anything related to urban agriculture in Portland. Although he presents the difficulties of identifying and measuring food success, Cohen is optimistic about incorporating sustainable practices citywide. From green building to urban farming, he believes Portland has been positively progressive in its sustainable development. He is also involved with nonprofits such as Friends of Trees and the Portland Food Bank, making him an essential link between city policy and sustainability-inspired organizations.

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


This digital access copy is made available as streaming media for personal, educational, and non-commercial use within the parameters of “fair use” as defined under U.S. Copyright law. It cannot be reproduced, distributed, or broadcasted for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883.

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