Green Loop and Untitled Studios bring the community together at Design Week PDX

Blog Post
Computer model showing bikers and runner on green path next to boardwalk with people at tables in front of pizza restaurant
Excitement about and interest in the proposed six-mile linear park around the Central City shows that this urban design concept has arrived!
People looking at display boards in warehouse setting with string lights overhead
Throughout Design Week, people could wander through the Headquarters building and experience Untitled Studios’ at their own pace.

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.

Four people placing colorful flags onto a paper mockup of the Green Loop
Think about it: What would you like to see happen along the Green Loop route?

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.

Group of people sitting at tables while presenter shows a slide that reads "The Green Loop Towards a New Civic Ecology"
The University of Oregon held a design charrette, with dozens of participants, about how the Green Loop could serve as a new type of civic ecology for Portland.

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

Woman wearing colorful dress sitting down and wearing virtual reality goggles
This is what it looked like from the outside …

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.

Computer model showing street and buildings with person on bike and pedestrian on paved sidewalk
And from the inside (with goggles) …

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.

Then read more coverage of the Green Loop at DWP.

Next steps

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.