As the main attraction at Design Week PDX, the Green Loop concept didn’t just meet expectations for community engagement, it knocked them out of the ball park. It seemed that the work of Untitled Studios was a perfect fit for the DWP Headquarters in the Central Eastside’s The Redd.
The group of young designers and architects filled the 20,000 square foot space with myriad displays, interactive exhibits and plenty of opportunities to learn about and comment on the proposed loop for walkers, strollers and bikers of all ages and abilities.
In addition to the displays, interactive maps and a life-size mockup of the loop, DWP featured several presentations and discussions focusing on the Green Loop. Hundreds of Portlanders came to listen, learn and workshop how the Green Loop is “a new type of civic ecology,” “a tool for social good,” and the subject of “Branding Strategies for Public Space.”
Beer and virtual reality tour feature the Green Loop
And as if that weren’t enough, Portland’s own HUB brewery developed a special edition IPA just for Design Week PDX. The Green Loop IPA was on tap at the opening night party, where more than 800 people enjoyed the beer, cotton candy, dancing, speed portrait drawing and a virtual reality experience of the loop.
Participants said the VR experience made the case for the Green Loop. “After experiencing the VR version of the Green Loop, I felt like we have to do this! It really made the case for it,” said one participant. Others expressed similar feelings: the VR experience made an abstract concept real and arguably a good thing for the Central City.
Lots of ways to stay involved
If you missed Design Week, no worries …
You can still experience the Green Loop and help make it happen! We’ve got a new Green Loop website and map app, with lots of information and ways for you to engage moving forward. Learn more about the Untitled Studios exhibition, explore the loop and make comments on the map app, join Friends of the Green Loop, watch a video featuring Mayor Ted Wheeler and others, and then sign up for email updates.
In the next few weeks, Untitled Studios will compile all the comments and ideas they collected at DWP to share with the Green Loop team.
Meanwhile, the Planning and Sustainability Commission will vote to recommend the Central City 2035 Plan to City Council on May 23. The Green Loop is such a “Big Idea” in the CC2035 Plan that the PSC will vote separately on it that day. City Council will hold public hearings on the Recommended Draft in late July/early August. Portlanders are invited to testify in person or in writing.