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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

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

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Design Workshop Saturday November 9: Help shape a people-centered West Portland Town Center!

Wanted: Community input on how to make the area more inviting, livable and accessible

Join your neighbors and community in a workshop to share and explore ideas for making West Portland Town Center a welcoming, accessible and inclusive place for all who live, work or play here.

Let’s talk about ... 

  • What changes would make meeting daily needs and getting around easier, safer and healthier for more people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities.
  • What changes are possible for buildings, open spaces, streets and other connections in the area?
  • What changes will help make SW communities more resilient in an era of climate change and rising costs?

Everyone is invited, including families with kids, longtime residents and newcomers

Saturday, November 9, 2019, 2 – 5 p.m.
(Doors open at 1 p.m. for lunch, project open house and sign-in)

Markham Elementary School 
10531 SW Capitol Hwy
(TriMet bus line #44)

Free! Lunch (available at 1:30 p.m.) and childcare (ages 3 and older) + raffle

If you need interpretation, please call Seemab at Unite Oregon with your request at least one week before the workshop at 503-287-4117.


Contact, 503-823-3111

Learn more at

Walk n’ Roll Tour of West Portland Town Center draws large crowd

Dozens of community members shared their hopes for The Crossroads area in SW Portland.

More than 50 adults – and almost as many children and youth – gathered at Markham Elementary School on a Saturday in June for the West Portland Town Center walk/roll tour. Childcare, interpretation and refreshments were provided, and the sun came through for a warm afternoon.

The purpose of the walk-roll event was to hear from community members about on-the-ground conditions in their neighborhoods around the intersection of I-5, Barbur Blvd and SW Capitol. They shared their experiences and ideas for how to improve safety and living conditions to make West Portland TC an inviting, inclusive and vital place for them and their families.

What we heard

Project staff heard a wide variety of ideas, suggestions, and concerns. The following is a summary of what we heard from community members on written surveys throughout the walk.

The 1.25-mile round trip route started and ended at Markham Elementary and included stops at the following locations:

  1. “Crossroads”/Barbur and Capitol
  2. Barbur World Foods/Taylors Ferry and 41st
  3. Barbur Transit Center
  4. I-5 pedestrian overpass behind transit center
  5. Portland Islamic School/Capitol Hwy

Overall takeaways

The feedback we received fell into the following “buckets” of ideas:

  • Area is divided in two: I-5 and Barbur split the town center into north and south portions, creating a potential for two “hearts.”
  • The civic and multifamily/residential areas near mosque/Markham Elementary/park could be part of a “heart” south of I-5.
  • Area around Barbur World Foods is a potential “heart” and commercial center north of I-5.
  • Roadway conditions are a barrier and need rethinking and improvements; consider ways to de-emphasize role of cars in local circulation.
  • Many people are scared to walk and bike, especially on Barbur and SW Capitol. Safe, comfortable access is needed to make the town center area feel welcoming and functional.
  • People want places to gather — commercial and community oriented.
  • Barbur Transit Center has potential for redevelopment in ways that can serve community needs. But getting there safely is as important as what goes on there.
  • The I-5 pedestrian bridge is a critical link, but many people do not know it exists!

Review the event map, survey questions, and a transcript of all the survey responses.

How will this feedback be used? And what's next?  

This input helps project staff understand community priorities, concerns and perspectives. It also helps define some key pieces for the town center plan work underway.  

Look out for another community event in mid-fall, where we'll work together to discuss and problem solve the physical challenges and desired changes for making this town center a safer, more comfortable, accessible, convenient place to live and travel around.

So stay tuned! 

SW Portland residents invited to Fair Housing Community Conversation + Discussion

Participants can learn about and discuss how Portland’s housing and land use history continue to shape our neighborhoods.

As SW Portland residents prepare for a light rail line – including direct and indirect investments in housing, jobs, and other community assets – it’s worth looking at the history of land use planning in the I-5/Barbur corridor, especially as it has affected housing opportunity. 

Staff from the Fair Housing Council of Oregon and the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability are offering a brief overview and community conversation covering:

  • The exclusionary history of land use zoning.
  • The roots of our country's wealth gap.
  • How the displacement of communities can be prevented. 

Join your friends, neighbors and fellow community members to learn how historic laws, zoning, and different land use decisions affected our community. Then be a part of the conversations as we move forward on planning efforts for a new light rail line in Southwest, the West Portland Town Center, the Ross Island Bridgehead and the SW Naito-Gibbs area.

Fair Housing Community Conversation Event

Neighborhood event to learn about and discuss historic laws, zoning and other regulations that continue to affect who lives where and who can afford housing in our city.

Thursday, July 25, 2019, 6 – 9 p.m.

Multnomah Arts Center, Auditorium
7688 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 9721
TriMet bus #44

Anyone living in SW Portland, their families, friends and neighbors

Light refreshments will be provided.

RSVP on our Facebook event page

This event is part of a the SW Corridor Inclusive Communities Project.  

What is this project about?

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 along the corridor.

The vision for the SW Corridor includes communities that are 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.


Contact Joan Frederiksen, 503-823-3111, 

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,