Some folks may know I’ve been pondering a move to the West Coast, and more specifically, Portland, Oregon. There are things which specifically attract me to Portland, including good transit and bicycle-friendliness. Mike Spina, a friend who is an advocate of smart, pedestrian-centered urban design, pointed me to Streetfilms. Here is a sampling of videos about some exciting movement in Portland:
The Towards Carfree Cities VIII kicked off Monday in Portland, Oregon with an exciting community event. Hundreds of conference participants helped break and remove asphalt from a 3000 square foot parking lot. Depave.org is the mastermind behind the Fargo Garden Project. They promote the removal of unnecessary concrete and asphalt from urban areas. Depave.org will continue to work with Goldsmith Properties to transform this now asphalt-free site into a community greenspace. Once completed, the site will be used to educate the public about pavement removal and storm water drainage management.
City Repair in Portland, Oregon hosts an annual Village Building Convergence where hundreds of people come together to build diverse projects for the benefit of their communites and to take back their streets via a process known as the Intersection Repair.
This involves painting streets with a high-visiblity mural that creates a public square for residents to gather and one which gently encourages drivers to slow down when approaching these spaces.
I am overwhelmed. To hear a private developer say turning the property into greenspace rather than build a triplex was a no-brainer makes me giggle. Portland seems like a great opportunity and place to get some real work done. I also wonder if it will be too easy, too safe. How much do projects like building parks and painting murals seep into greater concerns of poverty and modern slavery?