A collective, citizen-driven revitalization plan that created a vibrant downtown center

The Portland Downtown Plan in Oregon combined public and private investment and citizen participation to revitalize downtown and reconnect it to the waterfront. Completed in 1972, it established a collective vision and planning process to redevelop downtown over two decades and involved businesses, residents, transit organizations, and multiple levels of government in a joint effort to create an urban community in the heart of the city. The plan leveraged public and private investment to expand local transit, preserve historic buildings, create public spaces including a new riverfront park, foster new housing and retail development, and encourage public art and better streetscape and building design.

The Portland Downtown Plan has helped make Portland, Oregon, one of the continent’s liveliest, most appealing cities.

1989 Selection Committee

The large-scale plan kept a focus on the human scale, allowing the development to have a wider and deeper impact on the community. It has been celebrated for its grassroots participation and its potential to serve as a model for other American cities.