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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 858
Portland, Oregon 97204

503-823-PLAY (7529)

Barbara Hart, Community Engagement Representative


Tate White, Project Manager


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South Park Blocks Master Plan

  • Draft Preferred Design - University District

  • Cultural District Blocks - Draft Preferred Design

  • South Park Blocks map

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Online Open House!

More than 1000 people visited to see the draft preferred design for the South Park Blocks.

We are reading through all the comments and feedback you sent. A report on community comments and a revised design for the park will be available in August.

February 2020 Update

Thank you to all who shared comments on the draft design concepts! What did we hear from the community? Click here to view the comment report.

Community stakeholders and the general public commented on three draft design options for the South Park Blocks Master Plan. Read the Community Engagement Summary here to learn about outreach activities, meetings and events. 

Comments from the community will help the design team understand the strongest elements of the draft concepts to use in creating a preferred design for the South Park Blocks.The draft preferred design will be shared with the community later in the spring for review and comment.

This second stage of engagement included two meetings of the Community Advisory Committee, stakeholder discussions, focus groups with Portland State University and St. Mary's Academy students, consultations with the Parks Accessibility Advisory Committee and the Native American Community Advisory Council. Portland Parks & Recreation partnered with the PSU Farmers Market to host a Community Gathering and Market Booth in November, followed by a month-long comment period.

Earlier community engagement focused on visioning to understand existing conditions, how visitors currently use the park, and identify park assets, issues and opportunities. The draft design concepts were drawn from this first stage of engagement and reflect community priorities, needs and ideas. Learn more about what we learned from the community during the visioning stage here.

The Future of South Park Blocks

Portland Parks & Recreation has begun to shape the future of the South Park Blocks; one of Portland’s oldest and most popular parks. Rows of tall trees, native plantings, and colorful roses will remain key features, while we consider updates to make the blocks more welcoming and accessible for all visitors.

This 12-block greenspace stretches north from the campus of Portland State University, serving as a front yard for residents and businesses of the Cultural District. The park hosts vibrant community events and programs for Portlanders and regional visitors throughout the year.

A vision is needed to address challenges and changes in the park:

  • How can we best protect and enhance the tree canopy?

  • What improvements will make the blocks more welcoming and accessible for all visitors?

  • How can we retain the character of this greenspace while enhancing connections for walkers, cyclists and transit riders?

  • What changes will support vibrant community events like the Portland Farmers Market throughout the year?

Click here to learn more about the South Park Blocks Master Plan Project.


Planning Process

Over the next year, we will be performing technical investigations of the park and seeking your ideas and input to develop design options and plan recommendations. The three phases of the master planning process are shown below.


Project Goals

  1. Develop a community-supported park design;
  2. Expand opportunities for a variety of uses and activities for people of all ages and abilities;
  3. Understand, respect and reflect the complexities of the park blocks' history;
  4. Provide strategic guidance for the management of the character-defining trees on site, including a succession planting scheme;
  5. Establish recommendations for a future alignment of the Green Loop* that balances the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians, promotes safety for all transportation modes, and benefits park users; 
  6. Account for adjacent uses and development trends along the park blocks, including the University and Cultural Districts and increasing residential densities; and
  7. Reflect the capacities, resources and strengths of the many stewards of the South Park Blocks.

**The Green Loop is a linear park that connects people to places within and beyond Portland's downtown neighborhoods and the Willamette River. Learn more.

Click here to read the background report Existing Conditions, Issues and Opportunities.

How You Can Participate

Do you have ideas to improve the South Park Blocks? We want to hear from you! Your thoughts and suggestions are an important part of the process.

Join the Online Open House JUNE 10-29, 2020


Read the reports of community comments that have informed the design process so far:


Barbara Hart, Community Engagement Representative   |   

Tate White, Project Manager   |   503-823-6005