Vision for the West Portland Town Center
Great Places with Equitable Access
A natural and built environment that enhances environmental and community health through public amenities and has new commercial services and a supply and variety of housing options for a growing and diverse population
– and –
Strong Communities and People
A thriving and interconnected community that contains diverse households that are resilient in the face of displacement pressures and supported by strong social and cultural institutions and human services that benefit all residents.
West Portland Town Center Plan goals
To realize the two vision statements for the town center, the community developed these supporting goals.
To achieve great places with equitable access, we plan to:
- Design public spaces that consider the physical and social infrastructure needed to support people and businesses, while integrating the topographic, natural and scenic attributes of this area.
- Increase new and stable housing choices, tools and programs for all household types and incomes throughout the town center. Emphasize efficient use of the land closest to future station areas.
- Create a road map and/or strategy to fund and build a multi-modal and multi-ability circulation system across the town center area that is safe, comfortable, accessible, and useful for meeting daily needs.
- Create defined main streets and commercial areas. Enhance conditions for more robust and varied commercial and business services.
To achieve strong communities and people, we plan to:
- Prevent residential and cultural displacement by providing low-income households and communities of color the choice to remain in place and build wealth.
- Create opportunities for community and cultural spaces to thrive.
- Promote opportunities for businesses, including minority- and women-owned small businesses, that reflect the diverse cultures of the area.
- Foster and support community engagement and outreach to under-represented groups. Increase their capacity for involvement in issues that affect them and provide access to educational, social, cultural and employment opportunities.
- Improve mental and physical health outcomes for people living and working in the area. Elevate the connection to nature in the redevelopment of the area.
How the plan addresses these goals
To reach these goals, the plan:
- Supports retention of existing low-cost apartments to help those who want to stay in the area to do so.
- Designates new areas for a range of housing types and costs that will accommodate economically diverse households as the area grows as well as provide more residents to support a full-service commercial district.
- Defines areas for vibrant commercial and employment growth and supports walkable destinations and living wage jobs within the town center, while encouraging a variety of community benefits with new development.
- Fosters a stronger multicultural identity through placemaking opportunities and a multicultural hub for gatherings and access to commercial and community services.
- Recommends transportation-related actions and improvements to support getting around safely and comfortably without cars, including a “green ring” network of streets that connects the whole town center and “green scapes” to enhance the pedestrian experience along heavily used streets.
- Recommends a phasing of infrastructure investments and zoning to improve the town center’s long-standing transportation and stormwater management deficiencies and accommodate nearer-term funding constraints and challenges. (See next section for more information.)
- Documents the character of the town center area, both its present positive attributes and aspirational elements, to guide larger redevelopment projects.
- Details actions to share with a variety of public and nonprofit partners to support community goals.
Land Use and Circulation concept diagrams
Growing smart with a coordinated strategy
Responding to existing infrastructure challenges — including the delay of a SW Corridor light rail line — and related community concerns, the Plan proposes phased Zoning Map changes, especially for residential areas. It also proposes new development requirements and shorter and medium-term infrastructure priorities to support the community vision, as well as existing and longer-term needs. Development of this phasing plan considered the current housing and commercial development market activity in the town center area and the region.
The Plan’s phasing of changes and investments over time, also known as a “coordinated growth strategy,” focuses most early growth along the Barbur corridor and other major roads, as well as the two commercial and community nodes to the north and south of the Crossroads. It allows work with partner bureaus to continue and provides more time to put plans and — in some cases — investments in place to support needed improvements in the area.
This coordinated growth strategy will:
- Support the town center’s vision for land use and transportation.
- Support growth similar to other Portland town centers.
- Recommend City infrastructure priorities in the 0-10 and 10-20-year timeframes.