PLACE 2015: Shaping the City by Hannah C.

Today was the first day of PLACE! Wahoo! It was super fun getting to know everybody through the ice breakers in the morning. I felt I bonded most with my group during the lunch projects where we were sent to a public place in Portland and reported back to the larger group about whether the place was successful or not.

Tyler, Isaac, Emma H and Emma R and I were sent to the PSU urban space on 5th and mill. The place was set right in between a bookstore and gym. We sat on top of the building overlooking the courtyard. This public place seemed to be targeted to the older age group: college students and business people. A streetcar ran freely right through the middle of it, there were plenty of bike racks and even bikers on a deck of the gym overlooking the place. There was plenty of sun and shade provided by trees poking through the concrete and the tall buildings. People didn’t seem to be doing much activity. Many were were enjoying the space by reading, listening to their music or grabbing lunch. The setting was neither exclusive or inclusive. While in the middle of the square, buildings surrounded all sides, however there was plenty of sun and openings on each side to keep the open, flowing feel.
I’ve never analyzed a public place like I did today. It was interesting to think about what the place provided for people in Portland and why it was important and popular. After listening to other groups present on their space, it was clear that there aren’t really any public spaces specifically for teens, at least out of the ones we visited. There are plenty for kids to play and business people to eat lunch but very few dedicated for teens to hang out. After doing this mini project/presentation I’m really looking forward to learning more about how teens can get involved and be a part of shaping the city.

See you tomorrow!

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