More missives from PDX via Scot:


The great thing about Portland is that they have the desire and creativity to test temporary urban activities – programs ranging from food-truck courts to mini-golf on a downtown parking lot.  They do it well, using bold colours and reusable materials combined with lush landscaping and other well-conceived details, creating an urban laboratory for design inspiration and idea stealing.

It no doubt helps to have affordable space and support from council.


Scot 1

sCOT 5

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  1. When you say, “they” have the desire and creativity, are you referring to residents or the City or both? I’m guessing there are just as many creative and energetic people in Vancouver, but are Portland property and business owners simply more willing to take chances? Are Portland residents simply less uptight about the use of bold colours and novel concepts in public and private spaces, about which Vancouverties would inevitably complain and Council over-regulate or quash outright for fear of angering a few vocal “stakeholders”?

    Is this type of experimentation something to be emulated here? What makes Portland so hot?! And if so, what do they got that we ain’t got? (Someone please say,…”Courage!”)

      1. I’m sitting in my Portland hotel lobby right now, drinking a beer with my wife. Portland fully embraces its weirdness. It likes to be quirky and experiment with off-the-beaten-path living. Vancouverites are still trying hard to be “world-class” Manhattanites.

        1. Ditto Scot.

          The first time I heard a politician declare they wanted Vancouver to become a “world class city” a little voice in the back of my head (sounding remarkably like Harrison Ford) said “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”.

  2. They may or may not have more courage, but for sure they have more land than us. 2-1/2 times as much within the city limits: 113 sq. miles vs our 45. Given roughly the same population (just over 600k), Portland’s average density of persons per square mile is corresponding lower.

    Given the above, I’d say they have a lot more elbow room to try things out.

    1. I always look down at that huge empty abandoned lot on the Fraser River in South Vancouver when you cross the Skytrain bridge heading into Bridgeport Station and thinking that you could try some fun stuff out down there.

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