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Land Use & Transportation

Portland’s Housing Affordability Challenge

Portland’s Housing Affordability Challenge Mayor Charlie Hales recently made headlines with a proposal that the city allow small houses to be built on government owned land in an effort to increase affordable housing options. Hales’ outside-the-box idea reflects a couple of realities. The first is that housing affordability continues to erode in Portland. The second is that the city’s current set of tools to promote and develop affordable housing is… Read More »Portland’s Housing Affordability Challenge

SE Portland in 2035

SE Portland in 2035 The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability recently released a proposed draft of the Comprehensive Plan map. The Comprehensive Plan is the city’s effort to set the framework for the physical development of the city over the next 20 years. If this framework is achieved, what can we expect SE Portland to look like in 2035? Here is how I interpret the changes proposed in the map.… Read More »SE Portland in 2035

The Whos and Whats of Home Demolitions

Issues related to the demolition of single family homes remain a concern for many in our coalition and in neighborhoods throughout Portland. In June, Southeast Uplift and three other neighborhood coalitions organized a forum to discuss infill, demolitions, and housing affordability. About 200 people from neighborhoods across Portland attended.  You can watch a video of the forum here. In his presentation at the forum, Shawn Wood, a Construction Waste Specialist… Read More »The Whos and Whats of Home Demolitions

Trees and Infill

The current character of Portland’s neighborhoods is very much tied to our abundant trees. However, Portland hasn’t always been so tree friendly. In fact our nickname Stumptown originates from the 19th century when growth was so rapid that there were “more stumps than trees.” Since that time, Portland has grown a large urban tree canopy which provides us numerous benefits including cleaner water, healthier air, reduced erosion, and wildlife habitat.… Read More »Trees and Infill

Money Makes The Wheels Go Round

As the weather turns the corner toward summer and neighbors dust off their bikes, skateboards, roller skates, or pogo sticks, it’s a good time to think about how we pay for the roads and sidewalks we use every day. Transportation funding is currently getting a lot of attention at the federal, state, and local level, mostly because there isn’t enough of it. Due to rising costs of construction, lack of… Read More »Money Makes The Wheels Go Round

The Nuts and Bolts of System Development Charges

As our Southeast neighborhoods change and redevelop, it makes sense to consider the impacts on the City’s infrastructure. When single-family homes or smaller commercial buildings are replaced by increased commercial and residential density, how does the City account for increased demand on the water, transportation, sewer, stormwater, and open space services?  The City addresses those impacts by charging developers System Development Charges (SDCs), one-time fees based on the size and… Read More »The Nuts and Bolts of System Development Charges

Solar Access and New Development

The amount of new development in the SE Uplift coalition neighborhoods has been significant over the past year. Apartment buildings are seemingly springing up left and right, homes are being demolished and replaced by something different, and the splitting of lots is continuing to take place. Our quadrant is clearly a place where people want to live and where developers are eager to cash in on that desire. One issue… Read More »Solar Access and New Development

Change is the only Constant

It is the nature of cities to change and evolve over time. Sometimes the change is dramatic like the transformation that is occurring on SE Division Street today. Other times, it is more subtle like when a large tree on your street succumbs to old age and has to be removed. Large or small, changes to a city’s built environment have an impact. They can breathe new life into a… Read More »Change is the only Constant

January 2014 Land Use Trends

What will we see in the SE Uplift coalition area in 2014? One safe prediction is that there will be a number of land use and transportation planning projects that will impact our neighborhoods both this year and for many years to come. Here is a look at many of the projects that are taking place. 20s Bikeway A project that will plan, design and construct safety improvements along a… Read More »January 2014 Land Use Trends

The Changing Role of Maps

If you are a parent of children of a certain age or perhaps if you are a person who grew up during a certain era, you might be familiar with the character Map who appears in the children’s show Dora the Explorer. Each episode, Map helps Dora figure out how to get to where she wants to go. It is a good lesson – if you don’t know where you… Read More »The Changing Role of Maps