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New long-range land use and development plan for the heart of the city poised for adoption

Riddle me this … By 2035, what will house 95,000 residents in 64,000 households and provide 174,000 jobs?

Answer: Portland’s Central City. Which will absorb 30 percent of Portland’s population growth and welcome 50,000 new jobs in the next 20 years.

And there’s a plan for how to manage all that growth and development, while making the nearly four square miles of Portland’s urban core more vibrant and active for those who live, work and visit the region’s cultural and economic hub.

It’s called Central City 2035, and the Portland City Council will vote to adopt the plan on Wednesday, June 6 at 2 p.m. Watch it live or later on, when you have the time.

Here are some highlights of the plan:

  • The Green Loop – Perhaps the most transformative idea that came out of the planning process, the Green Loop offers a new way for people to be in the Central City … active, safe and fun. It’s a six-mile linear park for people of all ages and abilities to connect to places and each other all around the Central City. It was the star attraction at 2017 Design Week and is this year’s featured Sunday Parkways route.The Green Loop is quintessentially Portland: natural and urban, creative and entrepreneurial, sustainable and dynamic. It will support businesses, restaurants and stores along the route, while improving access to places where people can get the staples and support they need. And it will reconfirm Portland's commitment to greater access to parks and active transportation. In turn, the Green Loop can become an iconic symbol of a city that values and supports all people: residents, workers, students and visitors of all ages, shapes and sizes, origins and incomes.
  • The River – If the Green Loop circles the heart of the Central City, the Willamette River flows right through the middle of the urban core. It’s a waterway for commerce, a home for fish and wildlife, and a recreator’s dream. CC2035 ensures that it will remain healthy even as access for swimmers, boaters, paddlers and foot danglers increases. The new plan also ensures greater protection for the riverbanks, while allowing for small retail kiosks in strategic locations to serve more people as they enjoy this wonderful natural resource.
  • Central Eastside and the Innovation Quadrant – There’s a lot going on in the southern end of the city center. On both sides of Tilikum Crossing, new buildings are going up on previously fallow land (South Waterfront) and in once sleepy industrial areas (Central Eastside). This part of the Central City is alive with possibilities and potential – to cure diseases, create the next generation of apps, and cultivate new artists and makers. CC2035 has prepared the soil of this Garden of Industrious Eden. And as more businesses and enterprises set up shop in this unique area, more people will be able to work near all the amenities the city center can provide.

Top Ten things to know about CC2035

Good density

The Central City is the densest area in the city and the region. That’s by design. It’s Portland’s largest complete neighborhood, with lots of housing, amenities and transportation options.

It has the densest concentration of:

  • Office space in the region and a range of jobs and employment spaces in different districts ranging from Downtown, Lloyd, South Waterfront and Central Eastside.
  • Regional and cultural attractions in the state, including the Oregon Convention Center, the Moda Center, the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Providence Park, Keller Auditorium and the Oregon Historical Society.
  • Housing (affordable and market rate) in the region, offering the widest array of housing choices for those with the greatest need. The CC2035 Plan includes a new inclusionary housing bonus that will ensure a percentage of the 37,000 new units expected over the next 20 years will be affordable.
  • Social service facilities in the region, serving many of the most vulnerable Portlanders.

A true 21st century city  

With Council’s adoption of CC2035, Portland’s urban core is poised to continue to be a thriving economic, cultural, educational and recreational hub of the region for the next 20+ years … carrying on the tradition of previous planning efforts. From transforming Harbor Drive into Waterfront Park and a parking garage into Pioneer Square. Or transforming brownfields into The Pearl District and South Waterfront. And connecting the east and west sides of the river with a transit, bike and pedestrian-only bridge.  

Learn more about the legacy of planning in the Central City