Today two major events occurred- our first client meeting, and, just as as important, a citywide scavenger hunt.
Our day started with the scavenger hunt- although this was no ordinary search. We split into four groups, all intent on being the first to arrive at the final destination (think “The Amazing Race”). The hunt took us all around Portland, from American Apparel to the Waterfront. I think we all learned the importance of searching carefully and thoroughly- a mistake could send a group past the intended destination and all the way down to the river.
After a quick lunch we met with our primary client, Alexandra Howard, from the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. We will be working on the section of SE Powell Blvd, from 50th to 82nd. Currently, there are parcels of land on the side of the street that are not being used to their full potential. Our job will be to design how those ODOT-owned parcels of land can be integrated into a newly redesigned Powell capable of high-capacity transit. We received more detailed information about what we need to take into account throughout our work. We discussed possible transit types, budgeting, constraints, and the importance of equity (working to prevent as much economic displacement as possible). This meeting marked the beginning of our project- we present to City Council on the 16th. Wish us luck!
Editor’s note: Additional photos of the PLACE scavenger hunt are on flickr with the hashtag, #placehunt.