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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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Infill Design Project Overview

Infill Design Strategies


The Infill Design Project’s objective is to improve the design of multidwelling and rowhouse development in neighborhoods outside Portland’s Central City. The project’s primary focus is development in the low- and medium-density multidwelling zones (R1, R2, and R3), located primarily along transit corridors, and similar development in commercial zones.

Why this project?

In recent years, Portland has experienced a large amount of multidwelling and rowhouse development in neighborhoods throughout the city. This provides needed housing for the residents of our growing city. However, not all such development has contributed to meeting the community’s design goals, such as those calling for development that respects desired neighborhood character and contributes to a pedestrian-oriented streetscape.

Our challenge

The project brings together a diversity of community stakeholders, including neighborhood residents, designers, developers and City agencies, to find solutions to a wide range of design-related issues. The range of priorities being considered includes those as diverse as:

  • Accommodating greater density while respecting desired neighborhood character;
  • Encouraging quality design while facilitating affordable housing;
  • Providing for automobile parking while contributing to pedestrian-friendly street frontages;
  • Meeting our density goals while providing usable open space;
  • Minimizing impervious surfaces while ensuring durable vehicle areas; and
  • Allowing the new while respecting the old.

An emphasis of the project is on finding ways of encouraging desirable development, rather than simply regulating against bad design. Potential products include a case studies document highlighting exemplary development and design strategies that can serve as models for future infill development. This document could highlight design strategies, such as ways of minimizing privacy impacts, that are difficult to achieve through regulations alone. Another potential product is a “plan book” of infill housing prototypes that meet regulatory requirements, are marketable, and meet community design goals.

For questions or comments related to the Infill Design project, please contact:

Bill Cunningham, Project Manager

Phone: 503-823-4203


Winning Designs

01_Inner Portland Site Design Honor
Keith Rivera; Santa Barbara, California

02_Inner Portland Site Design Merit
Lucas Posada, Kai Yonezawa, Peter Keyes, Tyler Nishitani; Portland, Oregon

03_Inner Portland Site Design Citation
Steven Bull, Dan Rusler, James Steel; Seattle, Washington

04_Inner Portland Site Design Honorable Mention
Don Rattner; New York, New York

05_Eastern Portland Site Design Honor
Emory Baldwin, Shirley Tomita, Mausmi Saito, Lara Norwind, Joelyn Freilinger; Seattle, Washington

06_Eastern Portland Site Design Merit
Rhonda Goyke, Matthew Goyke, Steven Gangwes, Morris Onishi, Ethan Levine; Honolulu, Hawaii

07_Eastern Portland Site Design Citation
Steven Dangermond, Christopher Keane; Portland, Oregon

08_Eastern Portland Site Design Honorable Mention
Matthew Priest and Jerome Burgos; New York, New York