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Project Overview

Central City 2035

The Central City is the regional center for the economy, arts and cultural activities, retail, entertainment, tourism, higher education, urban living and a multimodal transportation network. Located within a beautiful natural setting that has the Willamette River as its centerpiece, Central City is also the historic core of the city and region. Significant as it is, the Central City faces numerous challenges and opportunities not present when the last overall plans and policies for this area were adopted more than 25 years ago.

CC2035 will be a new plan created with community members, business leaders, government stakeholders and other partners to collaboratively work toward a better city center. Over the next two decades, the plan will guide public and private investment, land use and development decisions for the Central City, while honoring its important role as the heart of the city and region.

CC2035 will create new guiding policies and updated land use and urban design plans for the Central City and the Willamette riverfront area. Work during Phase III of the project will focus on more specific geographies within the Central City, including eight subdistricts that will be grouped into quadrants. Within each quadrant plan, the unique needs and characteristics of each subdistrict will be examined at a finer grain level along with smaller identity districts.


North/Northeast Quadrant Plan

  • Lloyd District

  • Lower Albina

West Quadrant Plan

  • Southwest Quadrant
    • Downtown
    • Goose Hollow
    • South Waterfront
    • University
  • Northwest Quadrant
    • River District (includes Pearl District and parts of Old Town/Chinatown)

Southeast Quadrant Subdistrict

  • Central Eastside Industrial District

At all levels and scales, the CC2035 plan will focus on the long-term sustainability of the Central City. Consistent with recently adopted Portland Plan, CC2035 aims to enhance equity, prosperity, and human and environmental health in a manner that extends these benefits throughout Portland and the metropolitan region. 

Project Timeline

CC2035 project timeline

Phase I – Issue Identification and Goal Setting
During this initial phase (2010–11) a stakeholder Advisory Group worked with project staff to review existing conditions and identify the issues to be addressed. A series of public symposiums were held to broaden the discussion on the topics. The information from these symposiums was used to establish draft goals and objectives.

Phase II – Concept Plan
The development of the Concept Plan engaged a Steering Committee charged with establishing a draft policy framework and preferred urban design direction for the Central City, which built off the work of the Advisory Group and Symposium Series.

The Concept Plan provides high-level guidance for the city center’s growth and development. It highlights the role of the Central City in the region and its importance for the rest of the city. It is intended to guide development of more detailed quadrant plans. The Concept Plan has two primary parts:

  • A Policy Framework that sets the desired goals to achieve and directions to pursue; and
  • An Urban Design Direction that uses a set of diagrams to illustrate where and how the Central City will grow and change, highlighting key places and connections. It will guide future decision-making and prioritize public investments.

Phase III – Quadrant Plans
In Phase III, specific plans are being developed for each quadrant of the Central City based on guidance from Phases I and II. The quadrant plans will focus on issues unique to those individual geographic areas and recommend district-specific policies to address these issues.

Phase IV – Central City 2035 Plan
All the work completed during Phases I-III will be brought together in Phase IV as a final Plan. Recommendations will also be developed on a number of regulatory issues that apply to the entire Central City.

Coordinated Efforts

The Comprehensive Plan Update
The City of Portland is updating its Comprehensive Plan, a long-range 20-year plan that sets the framework for the physical development of the city. Portland originally developed its Comprehensive Plan in 1980, and it has been amended may times since then. But it has never been updated as a whole. The Comprehensive Plan Update will help to implement the Portland Plan, the City’s strategic plan for a prosperous, educated, healthy and equitable Portland. When complete, the Central City 2035 Plan will amend the new Comprehensive Plan with Central City-specific policies and map amendments. In the meantime, staff working on the Central City 2035 Plan and the Comprehensive Plan update are coordinating their efforts to ensure compatibility between the projects.

Central Reach Map

The River Plan / Central Reach
The Willamette River defines Portland. Winding through the heart of the city and the region, it is a place of natural beauty, a home to wildlife, a means of commerce and a place to recreate and re-energize. The River Plan / Central Reach will guide, inspire and facilitate actions along the Willamette River and replace the 1987 Willamette Greenway Plan to ensure that the city’s signature asset is sustained and enhanced. CC2035 will implement new citywide policy goals, including those to ensure the best future for the Willamette River within the Central City.

Central City Transportation Management Plan (CCTMP)
The CCTMP is the adopted transportation system plan for the Central City. The plan's goals include encouraging economic growth and housing in a compact urban form in the Central City, in an effort to limit urban sprawl and the loss of agricultural and forest land at the edge of the metropolitan area. This urban form pattern should also increase the use of alternative transportation modes, resulting in fewer vehicle miles traveled by workers and residents. The CCTMP will be updated and coordinated with CC2035.


Urban Renewal Areas in the Central City
The Central City currently includes all or part of eight urban renewal areas, which are:

  • Central Eastside
  • Downtown Waterfront
  • Education
  • Interstate
  • North Macadam
  • OregonConvention Center
  • River District
  • South Park Blocks