The PLACE summer program for 2014 ended with a tour of a new development, and a special announcement about future opportunities with PLACE!
The 2014 team has successfully presented an array of rich information and ideas to Portland City Council and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to utilize the turnouts on SE Powell, and is taking away skills for managing projects, leading teams, and engaging with their communities for positive change. Students have learned about equity issues in the city, patterns of gentrification and urban renewal, and strategies for improving community engagement. As PLACE becomes part of a new community, we hope to see even more opportunities for local youth to engage and lead their communities.
To the 21 students who put in all the hard work this summer, taking the initiative to set up interviews, asking people on the street for their opinions, researching case studies of BRT and uses of marginal land parcels, designing layouts and figuring out street designs, and putting all of this together: YOU ALL ROCK! –Tab
When I first started PLACE this summer, I had a certain expectation of what was going to happen: some boring walks through downtown, and a sort of cool project that I might have a little bit of fun doing. But after these four weeks, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed this program much more then I was expecting. With exciting trips through downtown and a fun scavenger hunt (thanks Tabs). I have enjoyed working on this project (although it was hard for me most mornings to get up out of bed). Although I felt that some days were a tad bit boring, I thought that how the group came together and really worked our butts off down the stretch was really impressive. Also the way in which we worked so hard in all of our individual groups and then put together a great presentation showed just how dedicated this group was to really “wowing” BPS and City Council. As well as just being downright dedicated to the process of learning about what happens in downtown Portland.
I had a really fun time learning the ins and outs of Powell, and what goes into something that seems so small, like a few transit stops and maybe a park. But doing this program really gave me new and added perspective on just how much work, thought, and consideration goes into everything in our city, and in our world. This program has truly opened my eyes for the better, and now I have the greatest understanding of my city that any kid my age could ask for.
Last night, the focus of the group was on the final document. We looked at previous documents that past years of PLACE groups had created and felt fairly intimidated by their length and detail. However, after everyone worked hard on the PowerPoint and got their work done, we compiled a large group document, making completion seem more feasible. The MVP of this task goes to Lauren Folgleström, who took on the bulk of the work while putting together the final document. She put together an aesthetically pleasing final product that will showcase the work we did and get people to actually read it. We all felt very proud after the success of our City Council meeting, and I think that we as a group can feel just as proud about this document.
After a well-received presentation at Portland City Council this morning, PLACE students will be making their final client presentation to the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability tomorrow!
On the way to City Council
Rolling down the street
Today was the last full day we had to make any final changes before sending our presentation to the city council clerk. Over the past couple of days our group had accomplished an incredible amount of work; however, there was still much to be done. At the start of the day, we felt a little overwhelmed at the amount of work we still had left to accomplish. Nevertheless, we went into the day’s work with a strong head of steam.
We were able to run through our presentation as a group for the first time and it actually was quite well done. This was the first time in PLACE history that we had the chance to present to The City Council, so getting the presentation just right was even more nerve wracking for the presenters than usual. As well, we worked on combining all of our draft SketchUp parcels and transit designs into one video. This was a difficult task since not one of us had ever made a sketch up video before. The recording took a couple of botched attempts, but by the end of the day we had a video, which we were all happy with.
As our day drew to a close there was still much work to be done. Many PLACE students spent time after the normal hours of our day were over to keep working. We were aided by the fact that we received an extension of our deadline to the next day. I hope that we will be able to put one last large effort of work into our project to bring it through the final stretch