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Well. That put it in some perspective. March 24th 1988 I was 2 months and 2 days from being born just entering my final trimester inside my mother.

Michael M.

There is, or was, a Portland neighborhood called "Palestine"? First time I've seen that on a map of Portland.


First a correction, one that I wish would stick because I have pointed it out on several occasions in the Portland blogosphere: That map purportedly created by Robert Moses showing the proposed freeway network WAS NOT created by Robert Moses. That map was created for the 1966 Portland Comprehensive Plan by (I believe) the Portland Planning Commission. Robert Moses never suggested the number of freeways outlined in that report. Look at Moses' 1943 report - Portland Improvement - and you will find which roads he really imagined for Portland. Sorry, but after years of research on Portland's freeways, it continues to bother me how Moses is given far to much credit (or disdain) for our road network.

Now - after a deep breath - I wanted to comment on a common thread among the cities Brian mentioned. Almost all of these cities have defined their desire to preserve their historic character - something that the City of Portland has yet to do. In fact, the City has yet to find the gumption to even take a fresh look at its 25 year old (or so) historic resources inventory. How can it be that new plans are being created for the city, while we don't even have a grasp of the resources we should be protecting? It is clear that cities like Savannah, Kyoto, and Edinburgh have much to teach us. I hope the powers that be are finally willing to listen.Another deep brerath.


Glasgow (one S), what a dump! But it does have a grid system, hills, and a river so it must be relevant.


barcelona is a fantastic example of a city that embraces its history while exploring new and modern design at the same time. portland (and specifically the historic landmarks commission) should take this comparison seriously. the way the new laces through the old in barcelona is so much more elegant and appropriate than the hackneyed way our deep-breath portland preservationists want to dictate design. it is also the most economically successful city on that list, i would say partly because it allows the city to be both about its past AND its present/future.


I totally agree with ben.
I really worry about our city taking sides against what can be modern and relevant to today in favor of history in some blanket generic fashion.
Revisiting the master plan for portland has the potential to improve and sharpen our vision - but also the potential to stiffle forward progress by determining that anything older than "25 years old" should be preserved and worse yet... held up an a template for any new buildings near it.


"Steveata of the Planning Bureau"

That's some name!


not to jump on the poor spelling/typo bandwagon but one of my penn professors threatened to not let me graduate if i spelled olmsted with an "a".

i definitely think portland needs to step it up with its historic preservation protections. we're not that old to begin with so we don't have a multitude of historic buildings that really help connect one with the beginnings of the city. we need to keep what little remains of this city's history. i don't believe the way to do that is by freezing time. there are already so many empty holes (surface parking lots where older buildings once stood) in our historic areas which should be filled with contemporary mixed-use buildings thereby adding 24-hour life to somewhat dead zones. the city needs to change the tax structure so that teardowns are not favored over preservation. and we need some young intelligent blood on the landmarks commission and on the city council to shake things up. its time we stop patting ourselves on the back and start addressing our failures.

also, though i love it with all my heart, i would not necessarily look to philadelphia for guidance as their decisions for the last several decades have been completely top-down. ~philadelphia has mowed down thousands of buildings, some cherry-picked and some by the block, for reasons ranging from blight and public safety to urban renewal and creating a "mall" to celebrate our independence.~ a new mayor brings new hope but almost everything good in that city has come at a grass-roots level by individuals and neighborhoods determined to make their city a little bit better.


While some might argue that this doesn't have anything to do with the "central city plan" I think it is paramount to developing the central city the way we want and that is to not expand the urban growth boundary. We have few traditional boundaries to stop sprawl; we should make farmland one of them. Farmland this close to a city is precious, we should hold on to it as it increases our quality of life by our ability to purchase locally grown produce that is actually locally grown. It benefits the city and we should encourage the "densification" of our city's existing footprint.


MOB, I think the importance of the point you raise can't be over emphasized. Unfortunately, the market probably more determines, rather than diminishing square miles of farmland close to urban areas, whether the urban growth boundary will expand.

It seems very, very hard to get to the point where grasping a concept such as building up for density is accepted, outside of a sever crisis of energy availability. I wish it were far simpler than that, and that the fields of Bethany in Washington County hadn't been already paved over. That this kind of thing happens may be something we in Oregon will come to sorely regret.

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