HOW WE WORK

WE  COLLABORATE WITH LOCAL PARTNERS TO SUPPORT COMMUNITIES WITH TOOLS, EVENTS, EDUCATION, AND POLICY ADVOCACY TO ADVANCE HISTORIC PRESERVATION, DESIGN LITERACY, SUSTAINABILITY AND INNOVATION, AND DENSITY WITH SENSITIVITY.

Empowering Communities through Creative Local Planning

Since launching our first design initiative in 2013, we’ve built inter-neighborhood coalitions and design committees, conducted design surveys, led walking tours, mapped special places and inventoried important historic resources. We've brought diverse stakeholders together for events and committees, and have created two published sets of Design Guidelines detailing community design priorities for eight main streets. 

We’ve partnered with neighborhood associations and business districts, with PSU architecture and planning studios, collaborated with community non-profits and design industry partners on educational events, and launched a series of of “Your Voice Matters” vision box reusable art installations in partnership with Architecture for Humanity (now Open Community Architecture). In 2019, we launched our first annual main street design awards, and over the years have hosted pop-up events, open houses, photography exhibits, and design booths at community street fairs. We also hosted multiple affordable housing workshops, planning sessions at conferences, and organized speaker panels on critical policy and design issues.  Our Main Street Design Guidelines have now been adopted for eight streets by seven neighborhood and business associations and provide a model tool any neighborhood can use for their favorite PDX main street(s).

 

We leverage our incredible professional and student volunteers, with guidance from community leaders and advisors, to bring support to communities experiencing major growth and change. With the rapid redevelopment of Portland, many communities are seeking more tools to have a voice.

 

Our community based planning work is grounded in planning best practices to foster robust public engagement and equitable involvement in decisions that affect each community. More and more we are approached to help be a bridge and bring our expertise and planning tools to help communities in need. We do this with pro-bono and low-bono services to host community workshops, design walks, inventory special buildings and facilitate community visioning, planning and creative public engagement.

If your community is in transition or would like support with more tools for shaping your future, please contact us today.