Urban Design Studio

A 3d aerial rendering of central Portland
The Urban Design Studio works with the community and agency partners to explore citywide design issues and opportunities.

Our mission is to advance the design quality of places citywide. We develop concepts and ideas to illustrate future physical changes as Portland continues to grow, and we use visual and graphic technologies to envision and communicate a variety of experiences with the public. We translate visions and ideas into policy, objectives, guidelines, and projects to forward community-supported design. Our practice builds upon Portland’s unique setting and history, its special places and its changing population, to enrich the quality, health and livability of the city.

In the advancement of design citywide, the Urban Design Studio (UDS):

  • Leads and facilitates community design workshops.
  • Explores and develops potential design approaches.
  • Creates urban design concepts and policy direction.
  • Produces design guidelines.
  • Assists and advises planning projects throughout the city.
  • Engages design professionals, institutions, and community groups.
  • Applies visual and graphic technology to illustrate and communicate concepts.

The UDS implements the following design principles in all of our work:

  • Make places for people: Develop a wide range of distinctive places that support the health and well-being of people and communities.
  • Strengthen connections: Link places with safe, direct connections, and a welcoming public realm.
  • Enhance the existing: Strengthen existing assets and sensitively integrate new development that honors geographic, historic and cultural identity.
  • Embrace the future: Create new places within the urban fabric that offer new uses, forms, buildings and experiences.
  • Lead by example: Foster Portland’s international identity as a premier green city, where vibrant, healthy districts contribute to its resilience.
  • Make it happen: Create big picture visions for the future of Portland’s places, while offering smaller-scale strategies and partnerships for near term implementation.