Networked Urbanism

design thinking initiatives for a better urban life

Design critics: Belinda Tato and Jose Luis Vallejo, principals of Ecosistema Urbano

Our goal is to engage the community, stimulate economic development, and readdress how streets are currently being used in Portland by temporarily closing streets. The map below is of the downtown streets, showing which ones can and cannot be closed through a series of criteria such as average volume of traffic and whether or not public transit runs on that street. We discussed the necessary steps in temporarily closing Portland’s downtown streets, with the process taking between 4-6 weeks after the proper paperwork has been turned into the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Portland Vector

There have been projects in other major cities such as New York and San Francisco that have reimagined how best to use their streets and sidewalks. New York’s data collected from street transformations that included larger pedestrian areas shows that it is not only beneficial economically, but that people’s perception of the areas improved as well.

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Our next steps will be designing a full range of outdoor furniture that will be rented to community organizations and businesses interested in increasing pedestrian interaction around their stores as well as to the City of Portland for events. We would be providing temporary seating, tables, bicycle racks, booths for vendors, as well as stages. The furniture will be designed to reflect Portland’s unique culture while focusing on being easily transportable. In addition to the furniture we will be providing the businesses and communities with the necessary step-by-step information needed to obtain the street closure permit.

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