Keep Portland weird!

As this fellowship, I supposedly lived only in one city during one-month placement. But I am very fortunate to have a chance to stay on the second city (Corvallis) and third city to attend “Urbanism Next Conference 2019” which held on May 7-9, 2019 in Portland. The conference theme focuses on “How Technology shapes our cities.” Thank you ICMA for this great opportunity.

The conference partner with the National and Oregon Chapters of the American Planning Association, the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Urban Land Institute Northwest, brought together over 500 planners, architects, landscape architects, developers, technology experts, elected officials, academics, and many others across the US.

This is such a great opportunity for me to meet experienced professions in related field. I’ve learned a lot from many plenary speakers (ex. Martha Schwartz, my favorite landscape STARchitect :D) in half day morning. Afternoon, the conference devided into several sessions. Each sessions had concurrent panels in different issues related to the theme which I could choose what topics that I was interested in. I’ve just known that many technical terms such as “Micromobolity”, “e-tailers”, “augmented reality” and “freight” are related to urban planning from this conference and found that American people pay a lot of attention to them.

Plus, I did a geeky landscape architecture tour in Portland again. My ultimate destination was Tanner Spring Park, which I have known as a successful implementation of stormwater management in the urban park scale. This project apparently expose how Portland has serious implementation about their green vision. Another place was Keller fountain park, the classic signature landscape architecture work of Lawrence Halprin associates.

Tanner Spring park
Keller fountain park

Actually, this is my second time in Portland after our host family took us a tour in the past weekend.

From my first time, I was quite excited since I’ve heard for a long time that Portland is one of the greenest city in the US. My first impression in Portland was the public transportation system as streets were functionally separated into many lanes. In downtown area, buses, streetcars, cars and bikes all share the road on the Portland transit mall. Other great things might be because the public transportation easily reached. I enjoyed exploring Portland with $5 single day ticket which I could take all of public transportation without limit.

We started exploring the town by strolling in the park along the river. The interesting thing here was the parks along the river were all connected as public spaces which everyone can easily reach to the river. Different activities were set in the parks along the river such as Weekend market, parks, plazas, amusement park, piers and museums. I saw a lot of people enjoyed jogging around the city no matter what time it was. We went to the Weekend market, Pioneer courthouse which is the large civic plaza located in the heart of downtown area, Blue stars donut, Jamison square fountain park, and ended the day with oregon zoo.

For the City’s Motto “Keep Portland weird”, I think this city is litrally weird because it’s the home for homelessness community. It’s also home to the smallest park in the world, a vacuum museum, and the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium – an emporium for all things weird, creepy, and just downright strange, craft beer, cycling, doughnuts, and the environment. But this “weirdness” is what makes Portland, Portland. And I love this city.

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