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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

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1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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SW residents share their vision for the West Portland Town Center

A multi-cultural group gathers to discuss the future of housing, businesses and jobs, health and the cultural life of their community.

“West Portland is a beautiful place that I spend most of my time in because of my community. I would like to see more affordable housing, a food market, and a community center.”

“I want it (West Portland Town Center) to be a real place that naturally draws many people rather than cars to the area, aka, a SW PDX living room like Pioneer Courthouse Square.”

“I’m proud of the growing cultural diversity in our neighborhoods so my son can grow up with greater understanding and appreciation for other cultures and languages.”

“It (West Portland Town Center) needs to become highly walkable, with many things to buy, i.e., produce markets, etc., that cater to neighbors rather than tourists. It needs to become a true urban village.”


So, said just a few of the participants at the West Portland Town Center Kick-off Event on a recent Saturday in April. 

About 60 residents of the area gathered at Markham Elementary, including a large cohort from the Muslim community. Somali, Arabic and Swahili translators were on hand to help foreign language speakers join the conversation and share their hopes and dreams.

After signing in and reviewing information displays, attendees were welcomed by Coya Crespin from Community Alliance of Tenants and Seemab Hussaini of UniteOregon, who shared personal stories, information about their organizations and the communities they serve, and led a native land acknowledgement.

West Portland Town Center Plan staff then gave a brief project overview before people broke into groups for facilitated discussions about four topics:

  1. Community and cultural life
  2. Affordable housing
  3. Businesses and jobs
  4. Community health

Notetakers captured their ideas, which are summarized in a “what we heard” report. Common themes emerged from the conversations, including:

  • A sense of pride in the community.
  • Concerns about residential and cultural displacement.
  • Walkability, pedestrian safety and traffic congestion.
  • Better connections between people and places.
  • Culturally relevant gathering spaces.
  • Focus on children and families.
  • More food options.
  • A multicultural/commercial hub or marketplace.
  • Jobs and training for low-income residents.

After the discussions, participants enjoyed music by Ghanaian artist Okaidja Afroso and food from Muslim Educational Trust. The conversations continued as people ate and children danced.

To read more about what people had to say about West Portland Town Center planning see the kick-off event notes

REMINDER - Join us Saturday June 15 for a walking tour of the area

Community members are invited to continue the conversation during a walking tour of the West Portland Town Center area on Saturday afternoon, June 15 - 1 to 4 pm. We want to hear about:

  • What areas in your neighborhood are good, bad or just need some attention?
  • Where are the places your kids walk or bike that could be safer?
  • What would give you more commercial or service options closer to home?

Tours will start at Markham Elementary at two times: 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm. Translation, childcare (ages 3+) and refreshments will be provided.

Details and more information about the walking tour

NEW – Data maps for West Portland Town Center Plan study area

While we continue to collect important qualitative information from community input at events like our June walks, quantitative data also tells an important part of the story. View the newly posted West Portland Town Center data atlas to learn more.

Walking and Rolling Tour @ West Portland Town Center: June 15, 1 – 4 p.m.

Join fellow community members to stroll around The Crossroads in SW Portland and help shape the future of public spaces and streets.

As the West Portland Town Center Plan gets underway, City planners are working with community members to identify and prioritize improvements to the area that will benefit residents, businesses and visitors.

Join us and fellow SW Portlanders to learn and share ideas about desired street improvements, business areas, housing and public spaces in and around The Crossroads (the intersection of I-5, Barbur Boulevard and SW Capital Highway).

Community members will be able to share views on:

  • What areas in your neighborhood are good, bad or just need some attention?
  • Where are the places your kids walk or bike that could be safer?
  • What would give you more commercial or service options closer to home?

West Portland Town Center Walking and Rolling Tour

Date: Saturday, June 15, 2019

Two times: The first starts at 1:30 and the second at 2:30 p.m.

Location: Markham School (in front of building), 10531 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219. Walks start and end at this location.

TriMet: #44

FREE childcare (age 3 and over) and refreshments. Project information and staff will be available from 1 – 4 p.m.

Interpretation: Walking tours will be held in English, Swahili, Somali and Arabic. Other accommodations available upon request.

What is a walking tour?

Walking tours are a way to experience a place outside of a car or bus at a slower pace. Planners can hear from community members about the places they live, work and play. These tours also offer residents a chance to meet their neighbors and exchange ideas and experiences.  

Questions or requests? Contact Joan Frederiksen, at 503-823-3111, joan.frederiksen@portlandoregon.gov

SW Portland event welcomes Spring – and community members – to shape the future of The Crossroads area

Neighbors, businesses, families, students – all invited to an April 27 kick-off event for the West Portland Town Center Plan.

Do you live, work, play, shop or worship in “The Crossroads” area? Go to school or the library? Walk, bike or take the bus?

Would you like to see the neighborhoods in the West Portland Town Center become safer and healthier for people of all ages and abilities? More housing for people of all incomes? Additional businesses and resources that meet the needs of an increasingly diverse community? Easier and safer ways to get around?

You can have your say about the future of the West Portland Town Center.

Community members are invited to a West Portland Town Center Plan Kick-off on Saturday, April 27. This event marks the beginning of an 18-month process to create a West Portland Town Center Plan, which will focus on the area around “The Crossroads,” where I-5, Barbur Boulevard and Capitol Highway come together. 

The event will give community members a chance to share what they care about and want to see happen around this bustling intersection. People at the event can connect with their neighbors, learn more about the area and the planning work being done, how to volunteer with local organizations, as well as share ideas for the future of the town center.

Together, we will talk about what welcoming and inclusive communities look like, with affordable housing, safer streets and transit, access to good jobs, thriving businesses and healthy environments.

Community groups that work with lower income residents in Southwest Portland will also participate in the conversations and share resources.

Join us for a fun, family-friendly event with free childcare, food and entertainment

West Portland Town Center Kick-off Event

  • What: Community event to kick off the West Portland Town Center Plan
  • When: Saturday, April 27, 2019, 10:30a.m. – 2 p.m. (doors open at 10:15 a.m. for registration)
  • Where: Markham Elementary School, 10531 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219
  • Who: Anyone who lives, works, plays, shops, visits; goes to school or the library; walks, bikes, takes the bus; and/or worships in Southwest Portland. Everyone is welcome.
  • Free food, childcare and more: Lunch and childcare will be provided as well as entertainment.
  • RSVP on our Facebook event, and share with your friends and neighbors.

What is the SW Corridor Inclusive Communities Project?

With plans for a light rail line from Downtown Portland to Bridgeport Village moving forward, the City of Portland is working with other agencies and community partners to plan for healthy, connected and inclusive communities in the corridor.

In the future these communities will be welcoming and diverse places, with a full range of housing choices, thriving business districts, connected and accessible pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks as well as community services.

Learn more about the SW Corridor Inclusive Communities Project

Questions? 

Contact Joan Frederiksen, 503-823-3111, joan.frederiksen@portlandoregon.gov

Seeking a diverse group of people to guide long-range planning efforts for the West Portland Town Center

Consider joining a Community Advisory Group to help ensure broad community outreach and a health equity perspective as we create a long-term vision and action plan for this growing area in SW Portland.

Advisory group members stand next to welcome board

If you live, play, worship, work or do business in SW Portland, you’re likely familiar with “The Crossroads,” also known as West Portland Town Center. This intersection of Barbur Blvd, Capital Highway and I-5 is a hub for pedestrians, cars, transit and businesses, such as the popular Barbur World Foods, as well as nearby schools and parks.

Preparations for a new light rail line along the Barbur/I-5 corridor are well underway, and the City of Portland is working to make sure that new investments and redevelopment in the area benefit all, avoid displacement of vulnerable populations, and foster an inclusive and diverse community.

Be a part of planning for the future

Grounding the work in broad community outreach and a health equity perspective, the West Portland Town Center Plan will create a long-term vision and action plan for this area. The work will include analysis and proposals around housing and displacement, improved health and prosperity for low-income residents, transportation and stormwater improvements, economic development, zoning changes and urban design.

Beginning in Spring of 2019, a project Community Advisory Group (CAG), agency partners and others will explore the intersection of these issues and work with the community to address challenges and opportunities through an 18-month public process.

We’re looking for a diverse group of people to provide advice and guidance to City planners and a consultant team.

Learn more or apply with the West Portland Town Center Plan Community Advisory Group