A new light rail system linking downtown and neighborhoods

The Portland Streetcar Project reused abandoned railyards to create a state-of-the-art double track streetcar system linking five districts in Portland, Oregon. The streetcar line creates a circulatory loop linking the east and west neighborhoods across the Willamette River and flanks the spine of four parks and mixed-use neighborhoods. The result of a successful public-private partnership, the project serves several high-density areas, helping to reduce auto trips and delivering safe and cost-effective transit services.

The Portland Streetcar Project demonstrates that cities can continue to improve themselves and it offers hope for the future of our urban centers.

2005 Selection Committee

Originally started by the city to connect abandoned rail yards and a brownfield site to acres of vacant industrial land at the opposite end of downtown Portland, the Portland Streetcar project now connects a hospital, cultural district, retail center, and the regional transit system. In addition to reclaiming a 70-acre brownfield site, this project spurred $1.4 billion in private and institutional investment for both residential and non-residential uses. Beyond serving as a highly effective mode of transportation, the project is a model for uniting disconnected parts of a city and providing incentive for new development.