revisualizing south portland

places over time

The ongoing Central City Plan update is a blueprint for the next 20 to 30 years of Portland planning, and the city is taking great lengths to involve the public in how to shape that future. Recently, a draft version of the stakeholder committee’s plans for South Portland (pdf) has been published, and the biggest takeaway for me is the emphasis on correcting some of the 20th century’s biggest mistakes regarding transportation and urban planning. Long ago South Portland was home to a bustling blue collar neighborhood, that is before the city and state planners repeatedly had their ways with it. There is very little left of the old Victorian neighborhood, as the area was first divided by US 99W and US 26 highways, later Harbor Drive, and even later I-5 and I-405. What land was left was taken for either 1960’s style Urban Renewal or for Portland State University’s…

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