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Architecture & Engineering


By Clair Enlow

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October 22, 2003

Time for design in Portland's architecture-free zone

  • Economic development has driven Portland planning since the 1970s. But as the City of Roses tackles its biggest project ever, officials need to focus on good design, as well as good planning.
    Design Perspectives

    Back in 1970, Portland faced the same conditions that drove other American cities -- including Seattle -- to the brink of despair. Inner-city neighborhoods shaken or emptied by a decade of urban renewal. Middle class flight to the suburbs. Retail moving to the malls. Parking lots where parks ought to be. The list goes on.

    Portland, now at the pinnacle of urban correctness, was at the bottom of an economic trough deeper and longer than Seattle's. Downtown lights were either dim or dead. Then there were the freeways. A map of planned construction in and around Portland at that time shows the city would have been cut up like a jigsaw puzzle.

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