design thinking initiatives for a better urban life
Posts by Scott Burns
In The Derty Boyz, our initial project was to completely remove pavement and restore natural habitats in the form of urban forests, wetlands, and gardens public gardens around the downtown area. The issue is the lack of specificity in the problem we were attempting to identify. We traveled to north Portland in hopes of finding areas that suited the general idea we initially came up with. This area became N Willis Blvd; this meant that we tried finding a solution before we identified the issue. Wanting to stick with the same general concept of natural restoration we found a way to make N Willis Blvd. fit our needs by taking a deeper look at the issues that were both obvious, and that involved further research and came from contacting the neighborhood association.
Streets to Streams are now our new topic, rooting from the channels of water that once ran through the streets that were now main corridors for commuters. (more…)
As a result of streets with missed opportunities in Kenton we decided to intervene on Willis Blvd, potentially at the intersections of N Fowler and Washburne Avenues. As most streets that are designed as collector streets [streets primarily used to carry traffic from local to arterial streets] are typically no more than 60 feet wide, Willis is a total of 96 feet. The extra square footage are grass islands and sidewalks.
43% of the Columbia Slough Watershed is natural area and we want to use those strong natural systems to inform our design decision. To do this we have decided on greening the blocks along Willis Blvd as stated above. Our large-scale bioswale intervention will help to raise awareness of the importance of these systems by engulfing their commute with natural systems, whether it be via foot, bicycle or car. By strategically implementing various types of green systems we will be able to control stormwater runoff, enhance the quality of life, and create community engagement opportunities.
The next step in our project process will be to further refine our intervention typologies and placement, our narrative and to make a clear and concise argument for what makes our project relevant to the neighborhood of Kenton. Below is the start of refining our project — all images are works in progress and may not reflect all the research we have collected over the term.
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