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At an open house in the 1900 Building last week, the West Quadrant Project Team shared with the public new urban design principles and draft concepts for the Central City’s west side. Spanning distinct districts from Goose Hollow to China Town, the maps were developed from the week-long June Charrette, direction from the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC), and input from numerous meetings, workshops, interviews, a public survey and public testimony. Roughly 50 people attended the event, chatted with staff and filled out feedback forms.
The eight urban design principles -— or organizing ideas — for urban form are rendered in elegant, simple hand drawn maps and describe ways to strengthen and connect places, embrace the river, design with nature, expand housing, grow employment, extend the retail core, and shape the skyline along the Central City’s west side.
As Project Manager Karl Lisle told The Oregonian at the open house, planners, stakeholders, business people and the community would like to see more people living along the waterfront, creating neighborhoods at the river’s edge. “We've got [Waterfront] park," Lisle said. "But couldn't it be more?"
But how exactly does the City do that? The tools that planners use can help determine land use emphases, attractions and special places, maximum building heights, street and development character, open space and parks, and green systems — all of which are shown in the draft concept layers.
These layers — along with four modal concept layers (transit, pedestrians, motor vehicles and bicycles) from the Portland Bureau of Transportation - were discussed at the September and October SAC meetings. Project staff are seeking input from a wider audience to further refine and develop a preferred approach.