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Portland's Central Eastside: 2035

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

— Niels Bohr

What will the Central Eastside look like in the year 2035? Will it continue to be a home to industrial services, warehousing and distribution companies? Will the district still contain businesses started three generations ago? Will it include manufacturers making products commonplace in our lives today as well as products we cannot yet imagine?

Answering these questions is difficult. Imagine predicting 35 years ago — when Oregon’s economy was dominated by resource industries and the car culture shaped our urban form — that within three decades our economy would be shaped by the silicon chip and entrepreneurs, and employees who prefer to commute to work by foot, bike and streetcar.

Although we can’t predict the future, we can chart a course to the future we hope to realize. This journey will require some bold decisions and diligence to implement new strategies that take us where we collectively want to go. It will also require patience and the ability to creatively respond to the inevitable threats, opportunities and mid-course corrections that will deliver us to our desired destination.

Relationship to Central City 2035

The SE Quadrant Plan is an element of the broader Central City 2035 (CC2035) project to update the 1988 Central City Plan. The CC2035 Concept Plan, adopted in 2012, includes goals, policies and an urban design direction that provide high level guidance for the entire Central City. The Concept Plan established a framework from which the more detailed quadrant plans are being developed.

The SE Quadrant Plan will focus on building the next generation of industrial/employment sanctuaries, with higher employment densities to enhance and strengthen the Central Eastside’s role as a major employment center in the Central City. The planning effort will follow through on the CC2035 concept of southern “bookends” to the Central City, which could provide a new employment and education hub at OMSI and South Waterfront across the river.

The Concept Plan also articulates a vision for a Green Loop around the entire Central City, circling both sides of the river and providing people of all ages and abilities a way of walking, biking, strolling or rolling on a continuous, safe route. A community amenity such as this would further enhance the Central Eastside as a destination point for recreation, cultural attractions, restaurants, tourism and other amenities that enliven an area and create a sense of place.

You can help shape the future of the Central Eastside

Share your thoughts and input at the SE Quadrant Open House on July 8, where staff will present concepts that have emerged through the planning process so far.

Tuesday, July 8, 4 p.m – 7 p.m.
Oregon Rail Heritage Center
2250 SE Water Avenue

This is the final installment of a blog series aimed at exploring the past, present, and future of the Central Eastside.