Engaging east Portland to plan a more inclusive bus rapid transit line

When roughly 14 miles of a bus rapid transit line was proposed along Division Street in East Portland, the effort was greeted with interest in an often-neglected area of the city, but also concern about the possibilities of displacement and development poorly engaged with the unique local culture. To address those concerns, community members throughout the Jade and Division Midway districts were engaged through arts and culture projects to recalibrate the plan to better serve community needs.

Creative Placemaking

Building Resilient States: Profiles in Action Webinar

Communities shouldn’t wait for a flood or a hurricane to see how land use choices will affect their ability to remain resilient in the face of disaster. Many states and municipalities are already thinking strategically about how land use, transportation, and infrastructure decisions can help them prepare for and mitigate the impact of disasters. Building … Continued

Economic development Resilience

Building Resilient States: Profiles in Action

In October 2015, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, a program run in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Smart Growth America, released Building Resilient States: A Framework for Agencies, a report intended to introduce and integrate land use and transportation issues into states’ conversations about resilience. The Framework was designed to help … Continued

Economic development Resilience

Oregon Non-Roadway Transportation Funding Options

The State of Oregon faces major challenges to providing adequate and stable funding for non-roadway transportation modes. These systems include transit, freight and passenger rail, ports, aviation, bicycle paths and facilities, and pedestrian ways. Funding these non-roadway transportation modes has always been difficult in Oregon given that constitutional restrictions limit motor vehicle fees and taxes … Continued

DOT Innovation Technical assistance

Mayor Denny Doyle uses community input to improve Beaverton, OR

beaverton_redevel
A rendering shows possible results of the Creekside Redevelopment Plan via Beaverton Facebook.

Located just seven miles west of Portland, OR, the City of Beaverton is using community input to create an extraordinary small-town experience. Already well-regarded for its great schools and green space, Beaverton is home to Nike Headquarters, Columbia Sports, over 16,000 tech employees, and one of the busiest transit hubs in the metro region. This diversified economy has given rise to a diverse Beaverton: one out of every four city residents was born outside of the U.S., and over 100 different languages are spoken in area homes.

Mayor Denny Doyle, a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, has taken all of these important factors into consideration during his six years in office. He considers Beaverton’s diversity a strong asset and works hard to see that every voice is heard. The City’s commitment to community involvement played an essential role in the recently adopted Creekside District Master Plan, which aims to restore three creeks and help create a thriving downtown near the busy transit stop.

The Creekside District Master Plan was started about three years ago. Partially funded by a Department of Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Cities Grant, the plan aims to redevelop a 50-acre area around a local creek and transit center, with the ultimate goal of creating a central downtown where people can live and work near transit. “We want this area to come to life,” says Mayor Doyle of the project’s focal point. “It has been asleep for a long time.” The planned first step involves redeveloping a five-acre area next to Beaverton City Hall, which will serve as a catalyst for the rest of the area.

Local Leaders Council

Commissioner Annabelle Jaramillo on supporting cities and protecting open space in Benton County, OR

The view from above Corvallis, Oregon. Photo via prw_silvan on Flickr.
The view from above Corvallis, OR. Photo by Paul Woods via Flickr.

Benton County, OR is a mix of great urban places and rural areas, and smart growth strategies are helping to protect both.

That’s according to Benton County Board of Commissioners Chair Annabelle Jaramillo, who has served on the board since 2000. Jaramillo is a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, a nonpartisan group of municipal officials who share a passion for building great towns, cities, and communities.

Local Leaders Council

Smart Growth Stories: Taking transit-oriented development to a new level in Portland, OR

For developers selecting a site for new development, transit accessibility is a major selling point. A good transit connection can increase property values while making a site more attractive to potential investors and residents. But because transit stations are limited resources, only a handful of sites can boast direct transit access. What if a site were to have access to not only one transit line, but three?

That is the situation for LOCUS member ZRZ Realty and its property Zidell Yards. With three types of transit, the Yards might be the most transit-oriented development site in the country.

“There are very few sites that have streetcar and light rail,” says Dennis Allen, Director of Planning and Development for ZRZ Realty and LOCUS Steering Committee member. “I guarantee you that we’re probably the only one that also has an aerial tram that goes next to it. If you throw that in, it’s probably the most pre-eminent transit-oriented development site.”

Zidell Yards is a 33-acre former shipbuilding yard along the Willamette River in Portland, which ZRZ is now working to develop into a mixed-use district. Located directly adjacent to downtown and close to Oregon Health & Science University, a major employer in the area, it is the largest undeveloped site in the city. With such immediate transportation access, the property has created high hopes for economic development and investment in the area and Allen is confident his company can capitalize on the demand for TOD in Portland right now. More amenities, retail stores and restaurants are expected soon, following the development-friendly path of the city’s expanding light-rail line.

Local Leaders Council LOCUS