Portland’s Green Initiative Through the Green Loop

Portland is planning to build roughly 10,000 more homes within the next 20 years, and the city is currently developing plans for a continuous park and trail. The park and trail is going to be called the Green Loop, and would create space between the new apartments popping up throughout the city and create a connection between neighbors in all four quadrants of Portland!

One of the planners for the upcoming project is Courtney Ferris along with her team, who just won the city’s contest to design the Green Loop. Courtney Ferris and her team are graduates from the University of Oregon, and have been tasked with designing the future of Portland. When interviewed in a report, Ferris stated, “A growing city is a healthy city, and this gives us incredible opportunities to invest in public infrastructure like this.”

Courtney and her team were given the task to create a six mile continuous park that would connect the four different quadrants of the city of Portland. In that six mile continuous park, the team’s mission was to create a way for individuals to meet, interact with, hang out, and exercise. In addition, creating the Green Loop is one of the first steps in documenting the cities plans to save open space while the city is experiencing additional growth.

The winning design Courtney and her team put together features existing roads that are on less busy streets, while utilizing and expanding existing bike routes and pedestrian pathways. Some of the developmental areas are going to be tunnel-shaped trestles for a new visual interest spot, along with rain cover and event spaces. A comparison to similar ideas is Chicago’s 606 or Manhattan’s Highline Park.

In the Green Loop version the team has proposed for Portland, no buildings would have to be demolished, but a few parking spaces and driving lanes would have to be displaced. For the future, Ferris and her team will use the $20,000 grant money they earned by winning the competition to showcase their plans to the public and elected officials. They hope to make it a future possibility by generating excitement in the correct areas.

The proposed six miles of park would link several downtown park blocks, go over the Tilikum Crossing, and then through the Rose Garden and Lloyd District. Potential future events are already being tossed around, as the six mile park could be used for events like a 10K. The team is hoping that their public outreach and excitement will encourage Portland neighborhoods to provide feedback and make their sections unique along the final loop. The team wants each part of the Green Loop to feel unique and different when passing through different neighborhoods.

The overall idea is that the Green Loop will be unique when compared to other cities, according to each neighborhood’s traditions and personality. One of the city officials and senior planners associated with the Green Loop is Mark Raggett, who is part of the city’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Raggett said in a report that he feels the Green Loop can help the city of Portland grow.

The Green Loop has the capacity to become a unique staple in Portland life, along with a regional attraction that those outside the region will come to visit. A city council vote, along with philanthropic endeavors and proposed public taxes are still a while off, but the more excitement that is generated increases the possibility of the Green Loop becoming a reality.

If you’re interested in the Green Loop, take the time to find out more about the project, and voice your support!