JA Takes a Road Trip to Portland

August 7, 2015

 

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We recently took a trip down to Portland to talk with the folks from Community Vision about designing a project that maximizes a diversity of age, ability, ethnicity and income in North Portland.  It’s a great idea and a great area: there are riverfront parks, a university, industrial uses and medium density housing all put together in a unique mix.

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After a tour of the neighborhood, we wandered the streets of the Pearl and visited Tanner Springs (a premier urban storm water bio-filtration park), Jameison Square, and my favorite water fountain/play park in the city.

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We visited the Saturday Broadway Bridge market, and had a bite at the exquisite Maurice – within view of a glass high-rise topped with windmills.

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We were wowed by great architecture where maximum profit does not trump durability and the values of long lifespan buildings.  Wonderful experiments in character greet you at almost every turn.

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We saw the homeless and disenfranchised treated with effective kindness without impact on tourists and mid-stream residents.  We ventured north on Williams and saw great mixed use projects in development.  There is a scale, complexity and inventiveness that is exciting and worth the added expense.


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That evening we visited a wonderful restaurant on the Park Blocks called the Park Kitchen, and everywhere we turned we saw public art; A wonderful punctuation of the 200′ long blocks of Portland, which is 30% shorter than a Seattle block.  Truly Portland is a great geographic sister-city to Seattle.