Rise over run: Portland parks contend with steep slopes.

Both nestled in and perched on the Willamette Valley, Oregon’s largest city of Portland (by far) has its share of dramatic slopes and sublime vistas. This should come as no surprise. And although nearly three-quarters of the municipal limits sit to the east of the Willamette River, downtown Portland and most of its highest points

Multifamily monotony: how to put a new design spin on an all-too-familiar housing type.

While almost all urban aficionados have heralded the revitalization we have witnessed in downtowns large and small across the country, the sticklers and control freaks among us have continued to cavil about one nagging shortcoming: the form of mixed-use and multifamily projects has disproportionately favored big lots with monolithic structures that, while certainly better than

Angled parking in Oregon: a solution in search of a problem?

The affable little city of Corvallis (approximate population of 55,000) has a lot of things going for it: a large and prominent university (Oregon State); a downtown within walking distance of the big school, replete with locally owned retail (a real oddity in 2019!); a fortuitous location along the state’s prominent Willamette River and only

Tsunami tsignage: where to turn when the tidal tsurge tstrikes.

In the past, I’ve blogged about warnings of eminent disaster that owe their presence almost completely to geography: one of the nation’s busiest airports is replete with signs encouraging visitors to take shelter in the restrooms in the event of a tornado. Most Chicagoans (and most Midwesterners in general) know from a very young age

Pollo asado versus petrol: why don’t we see more gas station/restaurant conversions?

Brookings, the southwesternmost municipality in the state of Oregon, features a main street with a level of business activity that betrays its general charmlessness.     Plenty of similarly sized communities would kill to have a downtown with a low level of vacancy, a fully functional old-school cinema, and even a few white-tablecloth independently owned restaurants.

Portland: the apex of bike-friendliness—by American standards.

During my first visit to the West Coast in many, many years, I encountered the following sight on an unseasonably cold Friday morning in the Old Town Chinatown neighborhood of Portland. It might not seem terribly striking to readers of this blog from other countries—just a normal street scene. And even Americans may see nothing