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View Poll Results: Your Grade for Portland Oregon's Urban Planning Standards and How Portland is as a City?
A+/A/A- 14 35.90%
B+/B/B- 18 46.15%
C+/C/C- 3 7.69%
D+/D/D- 0 0%
F+/F/F- 4 10.26%
Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-06-2012, 12:53 AM
 
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I just came up with a new type of Urban Planning subject!

We can start grading certain cities for their urban planning standards, how they are as cities/towns, and discuss why we gave the city/town that grade based on that.

For the first city, I will pick Portland Oregon.


I give Portland Oregon a B/B-.

It has some pretty good urban planning standards and is a good/decent city/town. Portland Oregon has a decent amount of good neighborhoods that have a good type of vibrancy in its pedestrian friendliness/walkability, and commercial activity/urban amenities.

Portland Oregon seems like it cares a lot about green/sustainable architecture, urban planning, and the environmental movement.

There is very little to almost zero urban decay/run down/ghetto areas.

Portland Oregon also has affordable and rather cheap housing/renting/real estate options, decent public transportation, and rather low crime rate.


What drags the grade down from being higher than a B/B- is I would like Portland Oregon to have some more high-rises and skyscrapers, and to get rid of the height restriction rule it had before.

Portland Oregon could also get some more buildings to go with the houses.

But then again, there are people that don’t want Portland Oregon to have those things since they think it might change the vibe in Portland too much. It seems like those people don’t want it to become like Seattle or Vancouver with high-rises/skyscrapers, and more buildings/less houses.

Also, the Work force and Economy/Employment options is not doing well in Portland, which is probably one reason why the rent/real estate is still rather cheap. Portland should really try to diversify the economy it has and to get a much more vibrant economy.

The commercial activity/urban amenities in the good neighborhoods are good/decent, but there is definitely room for improvement in this, and the commercial activity/urban amenities could get more of an impressive unique wow factor.

Portland Oregon is definitely one of the good places in the USA. However, it seems to get upstaged by a ton of places such as Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Washington DC etc. I guess it is because those other cities generally have more of an impressive wow factor that is easier to notice.

Portland still has that generally (an impressive wow factor), but it seems much more subtle, humble, and modest. It takes a bit more time to find out all the great and impressive things about Portland.

Last edited by Thepastpresentandfuture; 02-06-2012 at 01:16 AM..
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:52 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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My friend who lives in Portland seems to like it. I constantly hear how it's a good example of a green, sustainable, TOD city. Actually a lack of a skyline sort of gives Portland it's identity...no point being just another Seattle. It should focus more on creating attractive environments instead of windy, empty and lonely canyons between towering skyscrapers.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:21 PM
 
6,066 posts, read 10,859,454 times
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
My friend who lives in Portland seems to like it. I constantly hear how it's a good example of a green, sustainable, TOD city. Actually a lack of a skyline sort of gives Portland it's identity...no point being just another Seattle. It should focus more on creating attractive environments instead of windy, empty and lonely canyons between towering skyscrapers.
Is this friend of yours that lives in Portland and enjoying it also originally from Australia or from elsewhere?

It is easy to encounter people from England/UK in the PCNW, at least in Seattle and Vancouver, but very rare to encounter an Australian anywhere in the PCNW. lol

I lived in Seattle for one year and a half and enjoyed living there.

I think I would enjoy living in Portland quite a bit less than Seattle, but still would find it a good/decent city/town to live in.

Portland also has good/decent urban planning standards, but there is still room for improvement in Portland. For this subject, I give Portland a B/B-.

I knew Portland was going to get plenty of A’s and B’s in the poll, but I really thought there would be as many C’s and even some D’s as well. So far, Portland got 4 B’s, 2 A’s, and zero votes for the other general grading categories.

I think it would good for Portland to get some more skyscrapers, high-rises, and some more buildings/less houses. But I could see how some people would think that would ruin Portland’s vibe, even if I kind of disagree.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:39 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
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I gave it a B (though I feel somewhere around a B+ to A- range). I'll score them a 90, how's that? I like Portland, Oregon a lot as a city. It has a great downtown, really one of the better ones in the US with a lot of creativity and good selection of small businesses and restaurants. I don't think they need more skyscrapers. If buildings got any taller there then it wouldn't be Portland and potentially take away some of the street level pedestrian charm that Portland is known for. Also I think the mid-rise buildings in the Pearl district, and the high rises in the South Waterfront are farely impressive. One of the things I dislike about Vancouver, BC is there are too many identical looking glass high rises block after block, I don't think Portland needs that.

Portland has a great mass transit network with an extensive light rail and the street car is great too, sort of adds a European feeling to the city. My only complaint is I think the light rail should have been subway tunneled through downtown like it is in Seattle. Those light rail trains crawl through downtown and seemingly stop at every block, too many frequent stops.

-an added note, this thread is to rate the city itself. Portland is a fantastic city but it has mediocre suburbs, I don't find them very attractive. I think Seattle has a much nicer selection of suburbs.

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 02-06-2012 at 11:35 PM..
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:35 AM
 
6,066 posts, read 10,859,454 times
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Originally Posted by caphillsea77 View Post
I gave it a B (though I feel somewhere around a B+ to A- range). I'll score them a 90, how's that? I like Portland, Oregon a lot as a city. It has a great downtown, really one of the better ones in the US with a lot of creativity and good selection of small businesses and restaurants. I don't think they need more skyscrapers. If buildings got any taller there then it wouldn't be Portland and potentially take away some of the street level pedestrian charm that Portland is known for. Also I think the mid-rise buildings in the Pearl district, and the high rises in the South Waterfront are fairly impressive. One of the things I dislike about Vancouver, BC is there are too many identical looking glass high rises block after block, I don't think Portland needs that.

Portland has a great mass transit network with an extensive light rail and the street car is great too, sort of adds a European feeling to the city. My only complaint is I think the light rail should have been subway tunneled through downtown like it is in Seattle. Those light rail trains crawl through downtown and seemingly stop at every block, too many frequent stops.

-an added note, this thread is to rate the city itself. Portland is a fantastic city but it has mediocre suburbs, I don't find them very attractive. I think Seattle has a much nicer selection of suburbs.
Yeah, this is to rate the city itself and all of the urban planning aspects of the city that is being rated. I came up with this new general thread subject just 2 days ago.

I picked Portland as the first city to rate because it seems like a rather neutral city to begin this type of thread subject with and also a rather easy city to talk about.

For the next cities, I think I will pick Calgary, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, and Washington DC in that order. But not right away. It seems like a new rate the city thread should be posted every 1 to 3 weeks and definitely not all at once.

Eventually, cities such as London, Paris, New York City, Shanghai, and Hong Kong can be discussed with their own special threads.


The score of 90 is like an A-. My score for Portland is around 80 to 84, so that equals a B/B-.

I do agree with many things you said for Portland Oregon (Good downtown, Good selection of Local Businesses/Restaurants/and General Commercial activity, Good public transportation network.)

However, I think Portland can benefit from having more buildings such as 4 to 6 floor mid-rise buildings, and some skyscrapers and high-rises while still keeping plenty of the houses type of architecture. But then again it does have good mid-rise architecture in Downtown and the Pearl District. Also, having more types of buildings like that might significantly change the vibe of Portland, even though it would not ruin the vibe.

I like the high-rises and skyscrapers in Seattle and even in Vancouver. However, Vancouver should try to get a bit more variety in the architecture it has, especially more variety in the high-rise modern architecture category.

One reason Portland doesn't have as many suburbs as Seattle and not as many good ones is because Portland has strict urban planning standards in the metro area that restricts further suburban development. Seattle does not seem to have that.

Last edited by Thepastpresentandfuture; 02-07-2012 at 04:47 AM..
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:39 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,447,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thepastpresentandfuture View Post
Is this friend of yours that lives in Portland and enjoying it also originally from Australia or from elsewhere?

It is easy to encounter people from England/UK in the PCNW, at least in Seattle and Vancouver, but very rare to encounter an Australian anywhere in the PCNW. lol

I lived in Seattle for one year and a half and enjoyed living there.

I think I would enjoy living in Portland quite a bit less than Seattle, but still would find it a good/decent city/town to live in.

Portland also has good/decent urban planning standards, but there is still room for improvement in Portland. For this subject, I give Portland a B/B-.

I knew Portland was going to get plenty of Aís and Bís in the poll, but I really thought there would be as many Cís and even some Dís as well. So far, Portland got 4 Bís, 2 Aís, and zero votes for the other general grading categories.

I think it would good for Portland to get some more skyscrapers, high-rises, and some more buildings/less houses. But I could see how some people would think that would ruin Portlandís vibe, even if I kind of disagree.

He was born in San Francisco, but has lived in California, Montana and Oregon, including Salem and some of the rural areas, before moving to Portland. He likes the arts/music scene in Portland.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:49 AM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,444 posts, read 18,359,292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thepastpresentandfuture View Post
Yeah, this is to rate the city itself and all of the urban planning aspects of the city that is being rated. I came up with this new general thread subject just 2 days ago.

I picked Portland as the first city to rate because it seems like a rather neutral city to begin this type of thread subject with and also a rather easy city to talk about.

For the next cities, I think I will pick Calgary, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, and Washington DC in that order. But not right away. It seems like a new rate the city thread should be posted every 1 to 3 weeks and definitely not all at once.

Eventually, cities such as London, Paris, New York City, Shanghai, and Hong Kong can be discussed with their own special threads.


The score of 90 is like an A-. My score for Portland is around 80 to 84, so that equals a B/B-.

I do agree with many things you said for Portland Oregon (Good downtown, Good selection of Local Businesses/Restaurants/and General Commercial activity, Good public transportation network.)

However, I think Portland can benefit from having more buildings such as 4 to 6 floor mid-rise buildings, and some skyscrapers and high-rises while still keeping plenty of the houses type of architecture. But then again it does have good mid-rise architecture in Downtown and the Pearl District. Also, having more types of buildings like that might significantly change the vibe of Portland, even though it would not ruin the vibe.

I like the high-rises and skyscrapers in Seattle and even in Vancouver. However, Vancouver should try to get a bit more variety in the architecture it has, especially more variety in the high-rise modern architecture category.

Also, another good thing about Portland is a very high percentage of people that live there seem great, balanced, intellectual, and non-corrupted which brings plenty of good energy into a city/town. Portland would probably rank top 10 in the USA for that type of people category.

One reason Portland doesn't have as many suburbs as Seattle and not as many good ones is because Portland has strict urban planning standards in the metro area that restricts further suburban development. Seattle does not seem to have that.
What parts of Portland do you think could use more 4-5 story and/or midrise buildings? I think the zoning they have in the Pearl and South Waterfront areas are already meeting the demand for that. Are you thinking the east side of the Wlimamette River? I suppose they could add more residential midrise around the Lloyd Center and Convention Center. Aside from that you'd have the clear out the maze of freeway ramps as that takes up a lot of space there on the Eastide where I-5 meets 84. Going further east Portland has a lot of attactive single family homes and neighborhoods that are quite charming and I wouldn't want to see those changed. Like the Hawthorne District for example is nice just the way it is, doesn't really need to be changed. Perhaps a bit more density around the light rail stations and more TOD, though there is some of that already, more would be better. Perhaps near the Columbia River right off I-5 at thge end of the Yellow MAX light rail line would be a good area for more density. I don't think Portland will be erecting any 50+ story buildings for many years to come, if ever. It's just not that kind of city.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:56 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Portland is the model for smart development. Some beautiful areas surrounding it have been spared thanks to its infill growth principles. The city does not feel crowded, has good public transportation and welcomes bikers.

The downtown was OK; pretty but not especially unique. The neighborhoods however have their unique flair.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:47 AM
Status: "I hate living in Georgia!!" (set 19 days ago)
 
48,282 posts, read 45,557,145 times
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Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
Portland is the model for smart development. Some beautiful areas surrounding it have been spared thanks to its infill growth principles. The city does not feel crowded, has good public transportation and welcomes bikers.

The downtown was OK; pretty but not especially unique. The neighborhoods however have their unique flair.
It is a model for smart urban development. Atlanta,GA could learn from Portland. Unfortunately, it won't.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:54 PM
 
Location: The Present
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The infrastructure w/ public transportation in Portland is one of the best in the country.

There aren't too many cities that can compete with Portland's interesting modern mid rise architecture. Whats interesting is that the type of new buildings you come across out there you'd mistake for infill but they're entirely new structures.
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