Julia: Image of the City, Explorer’s Deck, and Government Interaction

Today we stayed at our home base, and had two different presentations. In the morning Liz Guthrie, and Jenny Marx came.
Liz talked about different elements that make up a city. We started off with an activity in which we were shown pictures for a short period of time, and required to write about them or draw them. The amount of time each picture was shown for decreased with each passing picture. By the last picture, you were no longer able to draw any details, but were forced to draw what you thought was most important, that might have only been a line or two. Liz then proceeded to talk about different aspects of a city, landmarks, edges, pathways, districts, and nodes. These elements were taken from the book The Image of the City by Kevin Lynch.
Jenny Marx and students discuss their observations in a circle

Jenny Marx (left) Listens to Experiences with the Explorer’s Deck

students explore streetscape

Using the Explorer’s Deck to focus on individual elements of the city

Jenny then presented the Explorer’s Deck to us, which she created. She explained when going out for a site visit, it is not useful to record every single thing you see, or to try and tackle the entire area, but rather to really focus in on a specific area. We then went out and used the Explorer’s Deck in small groups. Each group received two cards from the deck, we then took fifteen minutes to walk along two blocks, focusing on just one of our cards, we then walked back the other way focusing on the other card. After we returned to our home base we shared out to the rest of the group all that we were able to observe, while really focusing in. This gave us a way to look at our site, during our site visit tomorrow.

In the afternoon, Oregon State Senator, Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, the Director of Government Relations for the City of Portland, Martha Pellegrino, and Director of Multnomah County Government Relations, Claudia Black came. They discussed the services which are provided by the state, county, and city, and the way in which all three interact. They shared with us how they got to the positions they are in today. Having them come gave us an introduction into the different levels of government, who handles what, and how all three come together to deal with different issues.

6 students listening

Pellgrino, Black, and Steiner-Hayward in a panel. Pellegrino waves arms.

Left to Right: Sen. Elizabeth Steiner-Hayward, Martha Pellegrino, and Claudia Black

While we did not go out in the community, we were presented with diverse and helpful information, which we will be able to use while working on our project. Overall it was a good day, and it was great to be out of the heat.

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