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Central City Districts

Map of Central City Subdistricts

The Central City is composed of 10 vibrant districts, each with its own unique character, assets and opportunities. This section presents district visions, potential growth scenarios and urban design concepts.



Downtown

Photo of downtown Portland

Downtown contains many of the city’s iconic features, such as tall buildings, Pioneer Courthouse Square, museums, performance halls, civic buildings, the Willamette River and Waterfront Park, and historic bridges.

Downtown has been shaped by centuries of history, from Native Americans to the settlement era; the expansion of commerce and trade; urban renewal; urban flight; and renewed efforts at revitalization and residential development.

Downtown can continue to be the most important gathering place for Portlanders and visitors, as well as a center for innovation and exchange.

2035 Vision

Downtown is the economic and symbolic heart of the region and the preeminent location for office employment, retail, tourism, arts and culture, entertainment, government, urban living, and ceremonial activities. At the center of the region’s multimodal transportation system, and anchored by the Willamette River and signature public spaces, it is the most intensely urban and easily recognized district in Portland’s Central City.

2035 Vision 3D map

Between 2010 and 2035, Downtown is expected to grow by 3,000 households and 7,000 jobs, for a total of 4,600 households and 55,200 jobs. This rendering illustrates a possible development scenario approximating future growth. The arrows illustrate a potential “Green Loop” alignment and key flexible street connections leading to the river and adjacent neighborhoods.

Key Elements

  • Extend the Retail Core to the north and to the riverfront
  • Establish a clearer set of east-west connections
  • Enhance the character of Naito Parkway
  • Support a future “Green Loop” alignment along the South Park Blocks

Urban Design Concept

Downtown Urban Design ConceptDowntown serves as both the office and retail core for the Central City. The area is home to numerous parks and attractions, including Pioneer Courthouse Square, Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and Keller Auditorium. Key intersections and gateways include the Willamette River bridgeheads; SW Broadway and West Burnside; and the Pioneer Square MAX interchange area on the Transit Mall.

The concept diagram also highlights the desired retail/commercial character of SW Morrison and Yamhill streets, West Burnside Street and SW Broadway; the desired boulevard character of 5th and 6th avenues and Naito Parkway; the signature east-west connection of SW Salmon Street; the potential Green Loop alignment along SW Park Avenue and the Willamette Greenway trail along the waterfront.

View full-size maps in the PDF version of the Central City Districts.

Read about the Goals and Policies in the Draft Plan that will help with implementing the 2035 Vision and Urban Design Concept.


West End

Photo of west end in PortlandThe West End is a downtown mixed-use and residential neighborhood. Its urban character is shaped by numerous historic buildings, new housing projects, many restaurants and retail activities, as well as a strong relationship with the South Park Blocks and Cultural District. However, the area also contains a number of surface parking lots.

Over the last decade, the West End has established stronger ties with Portland State University to the south and the Pearl to the north, effectively stretching the retail core from Downtown to the Brewery Blocks.

2035 Vision

The West End is a thriving, mixed-use urban residential neighborhood with a diverse and distinctive architectural character, a range of building ages and scales and a wealth of historical, cultural, institutional and open space assets. The district benefits from its pedestrian orientation and central location, with excellent multimodal access to Portland State University, the South Park Blocks, Goose Hollow and Providence Park, the Pearl and the Downtown retail core.

The West End hosts an attractive mixture of urban, family-friendly residential development with a range of scales, types and amenities that accommodate a socio-economically diverse population. It is a true mixed-use environment, where residents live in harmony with successful retail, cultural and office development.

 

2035 Vision 3D Map

Between 2010 and 2035, the West End is expected to grow by 3,000 households and 3,000 jobs, for a total of 6,800 households and 9,900 jobs. This rendering illustrates a possible development scenario approximating future growth. The arrows illustrate a potential “Green Loop” alignment and key flexible street connections leading to the river and adjacent neighborhoods.

Key Elements

  • Strengthen Jefferson main street as a neighborhood-serving retail commercial corridor
  • Integrate new development with historic fabric 
  • Explore freeway capping opportunities to better connect with Goose Hollow
  • Highlight the MAX/Streetcar interchange as a civic place
  • Re-envision SW 12th Avenue as a boulevard

Urban Design Concept

West End Urban Design ConceptThe West End has a predominantly residential character south of Salmon and a more mixed-use character to the north. The area is home to numerous attractions, including the Portland Art Museum and Central Library.

Key intersections and gateways include SW Morrison and Yamhill streets between 10th and 11th avenues where the MAX and streetcar lines intersect. Potential I-405 caps are also shown at SW Jefferson/Columbia and SW Yamhill/Morrison streets.

The concept diagram also highlights the desired retail/commercial character of SW 10th Avenue, West Burnside Street, SW Jefferson into Goose Hollow, Morrison and Yamhill streets; the desired boulevard character of SW Columbia, Clay and Market streets and SW 12th Avenue; and the signature east-west connection of SW Salmon Street.

Potential I-405 caps are shown at Morrison/Yamhill and Columbia/Jefferson, potentially offering new open space opportunities and improved crossing experiences.

View full-size maps in the PDF version of the Central City Districts.

Read about the Goals and Policies in the Draft Plan that will help with implementing the 2035 Vision and Urban Design Concept.


Goose Hollow

Photo of Goose HollowGoose Hollow is a mixed-use district with diverse residential, commercial and institutional uses. There is an eclectic mix of building types and ages, including a number of historic landmarks. Housing in the district ranges from high-rise apartments and condominiums to single-family homes.

Goose Hollow is home to several large institutions which attract high volumes of people to the area. With light rail running through the heart of Goose Hollow, it is highly accessible.

2035 Vision

Goose Hollow is a family-friendly urban community with thriving neighborhood businesses and excellent multi-modal access to downtown, Portland State University, the Northwest District and Washington Park.

The district’s major attractions, including Providence Park, Lincoln High School, the Multnomah Athletic Club and religious institutions, exist in harmony with surrounding mixed-use development, and attract visitors from all over the region to dine, shop, and play in Goose Hollow. Bordering Washington Park, the Vista Bridge and West Hills, the district is known for its natural beauty.

2035 Vision 3D Map

Between 2010 and 2035, Goose Hollow is expected to grow by 1,000 households and 2,000 jobs, for a total of 4,900 households and 7,300 jobs. This rendering illustrates a possible development scenario approximating future growth. The arrows illustrate key flexible street connections leading to the river and adjacent neighborhoods.

Key Elements

  • Develop Jefferson Street as the center of a residential community
  • Improve the character and create new places along West Burnside
  • Create new public spaces at Lincoln High School
  • Strengthen the identity of SW Salmon as a key east-west green corridor
  • Explore freeway capping opportunities across I-405

Urban Design Concept

Goose Hollow Urban Design ConceptGoose Hollow has a diverse mix of residential, commercial and institutional uses. The area is home to numerous attractions, including Providence Park, Lincoln High School and the Collins Circle/Jefferson main street area. Key intersections and gateways include West Burnside Street and 23rd Avenue as well as West Burnside Street and 18th Avenue.

Potential I-405 caps are shown at SW Jefferson/Columbia and SW Yamhill/Morrison streets and new or improved open spaces are shown at potential future reconfigurations of Collins Circle and Lincoln High School. The concept diagram also highlights the desired retail/commercial character of West Burnside Street, SW Yamhill and Jefferson streets; the desired boulevard character of SW Columbia Street, the central portion of SW 18th Avenue, SW Morrison Street and the western end of SW Jefferson Street.

The diagram highlights the unique opportunity presented by SW Salmon Street, a potential signature green corridor linking Goose Hollow to the West End and Downtown, and the desired flexible character of SW 20th and 16th avenues, offering improved north-south access through the district.

View full-size maps in the PDF version of the Central City Districts.

Read about the Goals and Policies in the Draft Plan that will help with implementing the 2035 Vision and Urban Design Concept.


The Pearl

Photo of the PearlCharacterized by a mix of housing, employment, retail, and arts and entertainment establishments, the Pearl is supported by a multimodal transportation network, a system of parks, affordable and market rate housing, and a growing job base.

The area combines new architecture within the context of its industrial past, with many former warehouse and industrial service buildings now repurposed for new uses. The residents of the Pearl are some of the most diverse in the Central City and include people at all income levels, families with children, seniors and students.

2035 Vision

A highly livable and multimodal urban neighborhood, the Pearl is a culturally and ethnically diverse, family-friendly complete community, with excellent access to public amenities including the Willamette River, retail services, cultural institutions and public transportation.

The district is a twenty-first century model of social, environmental, and economic sustainability. Its industrial past and historical assets, high quality mixed-use development, exciting urban riverfront, shops, art galleries and restaurants attract visitors from all over the world, creating an ideal setting for its numerous creative-sector businesses.

2035 Vision 3D Map

Between 2010 and 2035, the Pearl is expected to grow by 6,000 households and 4,000 jobs, for a total of 11,600 households and 14,700 jobs. This rendering illustrates a possible development scenario approximating future growth. The arrows illustrate a potential “Green Loop” alignment and key flexible street connections leading to the river and adjacent neighborhoods.

Key Elements

  • Extend the retail core to NW Glisan
  • Explore open spaces uses for parcels under I-405
  • Redevelop the US Postal Service site for high density employment and signature city attractions
  • Create a unique urban riverfront with Centennial Mills serving as the centerpiece
  • Develop the “Green Loop” through the North Park Blocks to the Broadway Bridge

Urban Design Concept

Pearl Urban Design ConceptThe Pearl hosts a truly diverse mix of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional uses. Attractions include the Brewery Blocks and Powell’s City of Books and great potential for new attractions exists at the United States Postal Service site and at Centennial Mills. Key intersections and gateways include NW 9th Avenue and Naito Parkway and West Burnside Street and NW Broadway.

The concept diagram also highlights the desired retail/commercial character of NW 11th and 13th avenues, NW Overton, Glisan and West Burnside streets, and NW Broadway; the desired boulevard character of Naito Parkway, NW 12th Avenue and NW Everett Street; and the desired flexible character of NW Davis, Flanders, Johnson, Marshall and Pettygrove streets.

The diagram also shows the potential Green Loop alignment along Park Avenue through the USPS site, with connections via Johnson and Flanders to Northwest Portland and the greenway trail.

View full-size maps in the PDF version of the Central City Districts.

Read about the Goals and Policies in the Draft Plan that will help with implementing the 2035 Vision and Urban Design Concept.


Old Town / Chinatown

Photo of Old Town / ChinatownThe site of Portland’s earliest commercial development, the Old Town/Chinatown area is rich in culture and historic buildings that evoke the city’s early years. More than 40 percent of the area lies within two historic districts: the Skidmore/Old Town Historic District and New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District.

Skidmore/Old Town is home to one of the largest collections of 19th century commercial cast iron buildings in the country and is designated as a National Historic Landmark. New Chinatown/Japantown commemorates Portland’s 19th and early 20th century Asian heritage.

NW Broadway runs through the western portion of the area, connecting downtown to iconic Union Station and the Broadway Bridge. 

2035 Vision

Old Town/Chinatown is a vibrant, resilient, 24-hour neighborhood rooted in a rich cultural and historical past. The district’s two thriving historic districts, numerous multi-cultural attractions and higher education institutions foster a thriving mix of office employers, creative industry start-ups, retail shops and a range of entertainment venues, restaurants and special events.

The district has a balanced mix of market rate, student and affordable housing. Its social service agencies continue to play a critical public health role within the Portland region. The district has a mix of human-scaled, restored historic buildings and contextually sensitive infill development.

It is well connected to the rest of the Central City and the region through excellent multi-modal transportation facilities and safe and attractive street connections to adjacent neighborhoods and an active riverfront.

2035 Vision 3D Map

Between 2010 and 2035, Old Town/Chinatown is expected to grow by 2,000 households and 3,000 jobs, for a total of 3,900 households and 8,200 jobs. This rendering illustrates a possible development scenario approximating future growth. The arrows illustrate a potential “Green Loop” alignment and key flexible street connections leading to the river and adjacent neighborhoods.

Key Elements

  • Highlight the intersection at Broadway and Burnside
  • Strengthen east-west connections between the North Park Blocks and the river
  • Explore development of a multi-cultural history center
  • Create a 4th Avenue main street

Urban Design Concept

Old Town Chinatown Urban Design ConceptOld Town/Chinatown has several distinct subareas: the Skidmore/Old Town Historic District to the south, the New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District flanked by the NW Glisan Street corridor to the north, and the NW Broadway area to the west.

While this area already features some signature public attractions including the Lan Su Garden and Union Station, it could benefit from new ones, including a possible Multi-Cultural History Center and a new public space at the intersection of Broadway and West Burnside Street.

Key intersections and gateways include the Burnside and Steel bridgeheads as well as the Chinatown Gate at West Burnside Street and 4th Avenue.

The concept diagram also highlights the desired retail/commercial character of West Burnside Street, NW Broadway, NW Glisan Street and NW 4th Avenue; the desired boulevard character of NW 5th and 6th avenues, Naito Parkway and NW Everett Street; and the flexible character and key east-west connections of NW Flanders and Davis streets to the Willamette River Greenway trail.

View full-size maps in the PDF version of the Central City Districts.

Read about the Goals and Policies in the Draft Plan that will help with implementing the 2035 Vision and Urban Design Concept.


Lower Albina

Photo of Lower AlbinaLower Albina is primarily an industrial district, with a working harbor area, an important living-wage job base and a small mixed-use historic area along N Russell Street. Freight movement by trucks and trains is an important part of the economic well-being of Lower Albina.

The access route to I-5 South and I-84 is NE Broadway to the Wheeler on-ramp. Russell Street is the main east-west connection. Interstate Avenue is the most important north-south multi-modal connection, carrying light rail, bicycle facilities and motor vehicle access to North Portland.

Planning efforts from the last few decades in Lower Albina have focused on retaining and enhancing the industrial and employment functions of the district.

2035 Vision

Lower Albina is a strong industrial and employment area supported by the working harbor, providing diverse employment and development opportunities. The historic N Russell Street is vibrant and rich with mixed-use and commercial activities that are compatible with nearby industrial and employment uses.

2035 Vision 3D Map

Between 2010 and 2035, Lower Albina is expected to grow by about 200 households and 200 jobs, for a total of 300 households and 2,300 jobs. This rendering illustrates a possible development scenario showing what growth might look like in the district. The arrows illustrate a potential “Green Loop” alignment and key flexible street connections leading to the river and adjacent neighborhoods.

Key Elements

  • Celebrate historic N Russell Street and expand retail and commercial activity east, reestablishing the historic connection between Lower Albina and the Vancouver/Williams corridor
  • Preserve the district's industrial character while adding flexibility for some commercial uses
  • Support regionally significant heavy industry and the working harbor

Urban Design Concept

Lower Albina Urban Design ConceptLower Albina is largely an industrial and employment area with a heavy industrial and working harbor area west of Interstate Avenue; a general industrial area east of Interstate Avenue; and the historic N Russell Street mixed use area.

Attractions include establishments along N Russell Street, including restaurants, bars and the Widmer Brothers Brewing Company. Key intersections and gateways include N Russell Street and N Interstate Avenue. A potential new open space is shown under the I-405/I-5 freeway interchange.

The concept diagram also highlights the desired retail/commercial character of N Russell Street; the desired boulevard character of N Interstate Avenue; the opportunity for a new flexible “strand” connection, and future Greenway Trail improvements along River Road.

View full-size maps in the PDF version of the Central City Districts.

Read about the Goals and Policies in the Draft Plan that will help with implementing the 2035 Vision and Urban Design Concept.


Lloyd District

Photo of Lloyd districtThe Lloyd district is characterized by a number of large region-serving facilities, including the Moda Center, Oregon Convention Center and the Lloyd Center shopping mall, as well as a concentration of large office buildings and neighborhood-serving retail on the eastern portion of NE Broadway.

The Lloyd district has been the focus of a number of planning efforts in the past few decades, many seeking to build on the district’s existing assets, such as its regional transportation connections and concentration of regionally significant event facilities.

The Lloyd district has also been identified as an “EcoDistrict,” with a focus on equitable, sustainable, and resilient urban regeneration. The district contains an enormous amount of development potential and unique opportunities for placemaking. As the district redevelops, there will also be opportunities to integrate nature into a densely developed urban area and to become a model of sustainable urban development.

2035 Vision

Lloyd is an intensely urban eastside center of the Central City with regional attractions and high quality multi-modal infrastructure, including several light rail and bus lines that converge at the Rose Quarter Transit Center. It is one of the most vital and livable districts in the Central City, with a strong employment base, successful residential communities with market rate and affordable housing options, as well as a variety of amenities.

The district is a model of sustainability and resilience, complete with well-designed open spaces, streets, and high-performance green buildings and infrastructure.

2035 Vision 3D Map

Between 2010 and 2035, Lloyd is expected to grow by 8,000 households and 9,000 jobs, for a total of 9,000 households and 25,800 jobs. This rendering illustrates a possible development scenario approximating future growth. The arrows illustrate a potential “Green Loop” alignment and key flexible street connections leading to the river and adjacent neighborhoods.

Key Elements

  • Create an east-west open space spine
  • Promote high-density mixed-use development and supportive amenities in the core
  • Encourage sustainable development including green buildings, green infrastructure and habitat enhancement
  • Support the development of unique gateways into and out of the district

Urban Design Concept

Lloyd Urban Design ConceptLloyd is a high-density, mixed-use area with well-established office and entertainment functions and a growing residential community. Attractions include the Rose Quarter, Oregon Convention Center and Lloyd Center Mall.

Key intersections and gateways are identified circling the district, with several located on the NE Broadway/Weidler street corridor and others along N Interstate Avenue and NE Lloyd Boulevard.

The diagram incorporates design concepts for a new freeway interchange at Broadway/Weidler, as well as several potential new open spaces throughout the district, including a string of desired parks roughly along NE Clackamas Street.

The concept diagram also highlights the desired retail/commercial character of NE Broadway, MLK Boulevard and Grand Avenue; the desired boulevard character of NE Weidler Street, N Interstate Avenue, NE Wheeler and 15th avenues and NE Lloyd Boulevard; and a system of flexible connections on NE Clackamas Street, NE 2nd, 6th and 12th avenues, with a potential Green Loop alignment along 6th/7th and Clackamas.

View full-size maps in the PDF version of the Central City Districts.

Read about the Goals and Policies in the Draft Plan that will help with implementing the 2035 Vision and Urban Design Concept.


Central Eastside

Photo of Central EastsideThe Central Eastside is one of the most dynamic and rapidly changing parts of Portland’s Central City. Ever since its initial development in the late 19th century, the district has had a unique mix of industrial, commercial and residential uses.

This continues today with new residential and office buildings being built along historic main streets lined with older warehouses that have been rehabilitated for manufacturing and compatible industries.

2035 Vision

The Central Eastside is a large, multi-modal and vibrant industrial employment district where existing industrial and distribution businesses continue to thrive while the district’s job base grows and diversifies to attract new and emerging industries. Bridges and other connections between industry in the district and academic partners west of the river support access, collaboration, innovation and business development activities.

The district’s riverfront is a regional amenity and destination for employees, residents and visitors, with a variety of attractions and activities that bring people to, along and in the river. The riverfront by the OMSI light rail transit station area is a major hub for a variety of commercial, educational, and other uses. River recreation and transportation flourish along the riverfront, supported by docks and other amenities.

2035 Vision 3D Map

Between 2010 and 2035, the Central Eastside is expected to grow by 7,000 households and 8,000 jobs, for a total of 7,900 households and 25,000 jobs. This rendering illustrates a possible development scenario approximating future growth. The arrows illustrate a potential “Green Loop” alignment and key flexible street connections leading to the river and adjacent neighborhoods.

Key Elements

  • Preserve the industrial sanctuary while allowing for higher employment density
  • Strengthen the transportation system for all, promote active transportation and accommodate freight
  • Support manufacturing, industrial services and other Central Eastside sectors as part of the Innovation Quadrant
  • Enhance livability and activate mixed-use corridors
  • Create a regional riverfront destination

Urban Design Concept

Central Eastside Urban Design ConceptThe Central Eastside is predominately an industrial and employment area organized around several mixed-use corridors. Attractions include the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade. Key intersections and gateways include the Willamette River bridgeheads, East Burnside and Sandy Boulevard.

The diagram highlights several sites for potential new parks or open spaces in the district, many of which are along the waterfront or adjacent to new transit station areas.

The concept diagram also highlights the desired retail/commercial character of Sandy, Hawthorne, Powell and northern MLK boulevards, Grand and Water avenues, East Burnside, SE Morrison, Belmont, and Division streets, and the desired boulevard character of SE 11th and 12th avenues, NE Couch, Stark, Belmont and Madison streets.

The diagram also shows a few potential alternatives for the Green Loop alignment through the district, acknowledging that more process is needed to effectively balance freight movement with active transportation facilities.

It identifies a flexible design character for SE Ankeny, SE Salmon, Clay and Caruthers, 6th and 7th avenues, the Vera Katz Eastside Esplanade, and the areas under the Morrison and Hawthorne viaducts.

View full-size maps in the PDF version of the Central City Districts.

Read about the Goals and Policies in the Draft Plan that will help with implementing the 2035 Vision and Urban Design Concept.

 


South Waterfront

Photo of South WaterfrontLess than a decade ago, South Waterfront was characterized by vacant brownfield sites and underutilized buildings. Now the district is home to more than 1,300 housing units, a growing mix of jobs, new parks and greenway amenities, and will soon be connected with the most diverse multimodal transportation network in the state.

Oregon Health and Science University is beginning to develop the Schnitzer Campus, a science and high tech research university. A public/private development partnership is also underway for the Zidell properties, which includes the potential for new parks, greenway connections, housing and office development.

2035 Vision

The southern gateway to the Central City, South Waterfront is a dense, vibrant, walkable, distinctly urban mixed-use community, with market rate and affordable housing options. It has excellent access to transit, parks and neighborhood amenities, as well as the Willamette River and greenway trail. The district serves as a model for sustainable development.

The district benefits from strong connections to the South Downtown/University District, Downtown, the Central Eastside, adjacent neighborhoods and a clean and healthy river that provides a range of urban amenities, recreational opportunities, beautiful views and ecological functions. 

2035 Vision 3D Map

Between 2010 and 2035, South Waterfront is expected to grow by 4,000 households and 10,000 jobs, for a total of 5,100 households and 11,200 jobs. This rendering illustrates a possible development scenario approximating future growth. The arrows illustrate a potential “Green Loop” alignment and key flexible street connections leading to the river and adjacent neighborhoods.

Key Elements

  • Create a signature riverfront open space as part of the greenway system
  • Enhance the transit hub at the tram landing
  • Concentrate retail along SW Bond and Gibbs
  • Improve multimodal connections to the south and west 

Urban Design Concept

South Waterfront Urban Design ConceptSouth Waterfront is a predominately institutional and residential mixed-use district.

Attractions include the Schnitzer Campus of Oregon Health and Science University, the Collaborative Life Sciences Building, Aerial Tram and South Waterfront Greenway. Key intersections and gateways include the Tilikum Crossing bridgehead and SW Moody and Gibbs streets.

The diagram highlights potential new open spaces at the base of the Ross Island Bridge and in the northern part of the District on the OHSU Schnitzer Campus.

The concept diagram also highlights the desired retail/commercial character of SW Bond and Gibbs streets; the boulevard character of SW Macadam and Moody avenues; and the flexible character of the greenway trail and a series of east-west connections to it.

View full-size maps in the PDF version of the Central City Districts.

Read about the Goals and Policies in the Draft Plan that will help with implementing the 2035 Vision and Urban Design Concept.


University District/South Downtown

Photo of South Downtown UniversityUniversity District/South Downtown includes three distinct urban districts: Portland State University (PSU), the South Auditorium blocks and RiverPlace.

With close to 30,000 enrolled students, PSU’s growth and development is guided by the University District Framework Plan (2010). The strategic direction for the Central City as a center for innovation and exchange aligns strongly with PSU and its surrounding area.

The South Auditorium Project, developed in the 1960s, was the city’s first urban renewal area and now includes modern office buildings and apartment towers. The area is connected by a system of Lawrence Halprin-designed parks, fountains and pedestrian pathways.

A community of apartments, condos and ground floor retail, RiverPlace is one of the few places in the Central City with direct access to the water’s edge.

2035 Vision

University District/South Downtown is the livable, accessible home to:

  1. Portland State University, Oregon’s largest university;
  2. South Auditorium District, a unique open space, commercial and residential landscape created by Portland’s first experiment with urban renewal; and
  3. RiverPlace, a dynamic, dense residential and commercial district with an intimate relationship to the Willamette River.

While each of these three areas has its distinct character, they are well connected to each other and to adjacent districts with multi-modal facilities, including light rail and streetcar. In combination they provide the setting for a growing international, multi-cultural center of learning, fostering information exchange and innovation. The district plays a key role in accommodating and incubating the Portland region’s growing cluster of knowledge-based, research-oriented enterprises while remaining an attractive, vibrant and livable residential area.

2035 Vision 3D Map

Between 2010 and 2035, University District/South Downtown is expected to grow by 3,000 households and 4,000 jobs, for a total of 6,200 households and 14,400 jobs. This rendering illustrates a possible development scenario approximating future growth. The arrows illustrate a potential “Green Loop” alignment and key flexible street connections leading to the river and adjacent neighborhoods.

Key Elements

  • Develop a key “Green Loop” connection between the South Park Blocks and SW Moody Street
  • Focus new retail activity on 4th Avenue, College and Broadway
  • Improve multi-modal connections across I-405
  • Strengthen routes to the Willamette River

Urban Design Concept

South Downtown University Urban Design ConceptUniversity District/South Downtown has three distinct subareas, each with its own unique character:

  1. Portland State University (PSU)
  2. South Auditorium District, including the Halprin Open Space Sequence
  3. RiverPlace

Major attractions include Portland State University. Key intersections and gateways include PSU’s Urban Plaza bounded by SW 5th, 6th, Mill and Montgomery.

The diagram shows a potential I-405 cap at SW 1st Avenue, which could offer new open space opportunities and stronger connections to the south.

The concept diagram also highlights the desired retail/commercial character of SW Broadway, SW College Street, and SW 4th Avenue and the boulevard character of Naito Parkway, SW 1st, and 5th and 6th avenues.

A potential Green Loop alignment is shown toward the southern end of the district, as well as the southerly extensions of the SW 2nd and 3rd pedestrian paths, connecting the South Auditorium District and PSU to the Tilikum Crossing and the greenway trail.

View full-size maps in the PDF version of the Central City Districts.

Read about the Goals and Policies in the Draft Plan that will help with implementing the 2035 Vision and Urban Design Concept.