Thursday 19 November 2015

Portland: Expectations vs Reality

The expectations I had of Portland was this energetic, clean, innovative city that was advanced in the planning world. From previous research there was a big emphasise on the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the revitalisation of the waterfront district. From exploring the city, the park is well utilised by the community and is a public open spaces the city needs. However the waterfront area, as well as other parts of the city, are scattered with homeless people, leading to question housing affordability. The high number of homeless people is something I was not expecting and I was not expecting to not feel really safe here. Some parts of the city felt really isolated.

The city is a lot more built up and more dense than I first expected and from research thought the light rail trains would cover a wider network of the city. The system works relatively well, however did not cope with the high volume of rain, which caused delays. For an innovative city known as 'the city that works,' was surprising that the lines are situated so low lying and caused flooding. However, the TriMet was well prepared with extra staff and alternative bus services

The sustainable food movement is a bigger initiative in Portland than I first expected. Being such a innovative city it makes sense that they are so passionate about the food movement. The food truck trend is considerable larger than I expected and it services a variety of people. The food trucks here are not like the portable vans we have in Australia, they are semi permanent structure on wheels, therefore not requiring any permits. 

Portland is not anything like I imagined it to be however it is a really interesting city achieving some really great progressive movements. 

Verity Bright

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