Let me know your ideas on how we can keep our livability in Portland.
I have been one of Portland's leading urban designers since 2001. My firm designed large-scale plans in downtown Portland (one receiving a special citation from the AIA for design excellence) and many community plans to make neighborhoods more livable. I have learned a lot from our community members about how to keep livability in our neighborhoods. Urban design is first about people, not just about buildings and infrastructure. It has been a pleasure to lead many community based plans and meet so many talented and committed people from Portland.
Please click on images for further information on some of the affordable housing projects I designed.
Woodlawn Triangle - a Neighborhood Center
Portland Downtown Waterfront - Housing on Naito
Whitaker School Site - School and Affordable Housing
Division Street - Seven Corners - Green Street
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We are already seeing it. We are at a crossroad, we can become a congested megalopolis with many our best buildings and districts demolished, or we can become a city that maintains our livability and values even as we grow larger. My expertise in urban design and working with communities on their neighborhood plans will be a tremendous asset on City Council.
Population growth in the next 20 years in the City of Portland will be approximately 136,000 households according to Metro projections.
How do we keep Portland's character, urban growth boundary, our Portland quality of life with these large and sobering projections, without demolishing our best historic buildings and districts? This is why we need someone with planning experience and working on livable neighborhoods on City Council.
The character of our historic retail districts are threatened as well. Again, a careful, 'on the ground' approach needs to be employed by the City working with community groups and members. There are ways to increase density in some areas without ruining the character of the historic neighborhood. This is why we need someone with planning experience and working on livable neighborhoods on City Council.
The character of our historic residential districts are threatened. Hawthorne, Belmont, Westmoreland, St. Johns, Alberta, Montavilla, Irvington to name a few. A careful, 'on the ground' approach needs to be employed by the City working with community groups and members.
And, as for PDC 'improving' neighborhoods, take Lents: PDC has been active for over a decade with little to show for their millions of dollars invested, only now with projects finally in the works. Take the area from the Convention Center to the PPS Blanchard building, where acres of close-in to downtown land are parking lots, vacant, or underutilized. Why are we not getting more housing built in close-in areas outside of existing neighborhoods?
If we want to keep our quality of life, keep our roads moving, things need to happen faster in city hall. We have a priorities issue on City Council, and many of us are very frustrated with the slow pace.
Now is the time for someone with a background in urban planning, equity, community collaboration and solutions based creative thinking to be elected to City Council.
Oregonian, June 9, 2014: 'Portland-area population could jump by 725,000 in 20 years, Metro forecasts' by Simina Mistreanu.
KOIN, June 12, 2014: 'Is Portland prepared for population boom?' by Chris Woodard.
OPB, June 25, 2014: 'Report: Portland Area To Grow To Nearly 3 Million In 20 Years' by Rob Manning.
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