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As anyone who has been to Europe would know... you can do density without jumping to 20 or 30 stories. And it's cheaper to boot, which (ironically!) makes it more affordable, as long as the land isn't too expensive.

Interestingly, the reason that the city wants taller towers is so we can hit our density targets while preserving most of the city as single-family dwellings. (this according to the city's main planning docs).

This would leave basically two main building typologies: SFD's and high rises, but little in between. That, to me, is more than a wee bit strange... particularly since the two aren't so compatible.

Luckily our city has warmed up to lower-rise apts/condos (the 4-story mixed use buildings that are popping up around the eastside), as well as skinny houses and rowhouses.

You also forgot to mention how Vancouver, BC is learning from Portland's transit system - they are planning a new streetcar for their downtown, and building new extensions for the skytrain (with much of it to be a subway).

Go figure? We're in the same region, baby... great minds think alike.


The mid-rise buildings are some of my favorites - it really is a more human scale, and to me the towers are just punctuation points. A skyline is one thing, what's happening on street level is what really makes the city.

I love the Cascadia region! We're aware enough of our amazing setting to say that we want to take pains to preserve it. I don't mind growth, I just want the people that end up moving here to appreciate what many of us have come to appreciate.


Amen to that Keegan!!
I live in one of these low-mid rise Pearl District urban fabric condo buildings, and I really wish we would see more of these going up. Not that I'm against towers by any means but this typology works well with the street and creating great neighborhoods like the area around Jamison Square. I'd also like to see a few more townhome projects modeled after the Johnson Street Townhomes.

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