BPS E-News Issue 18, July 2012
Imagine Portland’s Central City 25 years from now. What will make it special, unique and thriving? The Central City 2035 (CC2035) planning project is working to preserve our existing assets and continue on a path toward a truly livable city center. Guided by the goals of the Portland Plan , the CC2035 project will help to make the Central City a place where equity is reflected in the City’s actions and decisions, where youth can thrive and emerge as future leaders, and where the heart of the city is prosperous, healthy and connected.
The CC2035 Concept Plan is currently being drafted and is due for public review later this summer. The Concept Plan provides high level guidance for the development of four quadrant plans (N/NE – see below, SE, SW and NW), an overarching policy framework and an urban design concept. The major components of the Concept Plan were endorsed by the CC2035 Steering Committee on July 10,including strategic direction, a policy framework with goals and guidelines, and an Urban Design Concept. The latter Illustrates where and how the Central City will grow and change, highlighting key organizing physical features, such as the Willamette River, major corridors and distinctive new districts. It will help guide future decision-making and prioritize public investments by the City and partner agencies.
New Innovations in N/NE Quadrant District Plans
Nearly two years after the start of the N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway-Weidler Plans process, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) will be asked to endorse the recommended N/NE Quadrant Plan on August 2. In June, they endorsed the I-5 Broadway-Weidler Facility Plan. Both plans represent continued collaboration with community members to improve livability while accommodating additional housing and job growth in the area. To reach this point, the project team held or attended 140 meetings and events, reaching roughly 2,600 people.
The N/NE Quadrant Plan includes new concepts for street typologies, open space and green systems to complement high density mixed-use development, primarily in the Lloyd District. The street typology continues previous efforts to define the street rights-of-way in an effort to integrate the land uses in the district — and not just for the movement of vehicles.
This effort included a unique partnership between the City of Portland and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to develop a freeway design that would support high density development, and provide for safe pedestrian and bicycle facilities, while improving freeway operations and traffic on the freeway and in the interchange area. Unlike previous freeway efforts that had adverse impacts on nearby communities and promoted urban sprawl, this project is intended to help address some of the harm caused by the initial construction of I-5 through this area.
The N/NE Quadrant Plan will help direct and manage growth for the Lloyd District and Lower Albina over the next 25 years while:
- Preserving the industrial employment character of Lower Albina, with additional land use flexibility to support historic Russell Street and greater employment densities.
- Concentrating high density development in the Lloyd District, with a focus on new residential development that will add activity and vibrancy to the district.
- Fostering amenities, such as parks, street improvements and green infrastructure to support and encourage new development
- Providing sensitive transitions to historic neighborhoods.
- Improving regional access and local street safety and connectivity for all modes.
- Encouraging sustainable development that supports the Lloyd EcoDistrict and goals for improved environmental performance
I-5 Facility Plan
Working together, the City and ODOT have successfully developed solutions to longstanding safety and operations issues around and on the I-5 Freeway. This partnership has created opportunities to improve local connectivity and development conditions in the area of the freeway project, such as safer pedestrian and bicycle facilities that are integral elements of the interchange improvements. Key components are new east-west connections over the freeway, including a new pedestrian/bicycle bridge at Clackamas, a new connection at Hancock that will provide access to N. Broadway from the Eliot neighborhood, and a lid over the freeway.
Both the CC2035 and N/NE Quadrant plans will head to the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission for a public hearing on September 11, 2012. City Council and the Oregon Transportation Commission will hold hearings later in the fall.