From the GPS Consulting, PSU MURP Workshop Team:
Through the Master of Urban of Regional Planning (MURP) program at Portland State University (PSU), we have the pleasure of completing a practical and applied planning process with a client and community in a short 6 month timeline. Luckily, a group of six MURPs, took the opportunity to work with you, Brentwood-Darlington and the City of Portland to complete a Neighborhood Assessment and Action Plan. We first would like to say thank you. Brentwood-Darlington is an amazing community with motivated individuals that influence positive change everyday. It has been a true pleasure meeting all of you, building important relationships, and working together to develop this plan. We could not have done it with you.
Based on the project proposal and initial conversations we had with Marty Stockton, Southeast District Liaison for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), we identified that increasing livability and stability for BD residents was the city’s primary goal. Additionally, the city wanted to better understand the most pressing challenges BD faces. In our first conversations with residents, you asked us how to strengthen neighborhood identity and engage diverse voices in the neighborhood. As well as, you wanted to build off of current momentum and understand how to be more effective advocates in addressing your infrastructure challenges.
From neighborhood walks to multi-cultural focus groups, we learned a great deal of information from the people in your community. The most overwhelming thing we heard from you was infrastructure deficiencies and sidewalk concerns. We learned about your amazing and successful grassroots organizing history from interviews with neighbors that have been in BD for over 50 years. Our neighborhood survey told us that many of your moved to the neighborhood for its affordability and the opportunity to buy a home.
All of these interactions with people within Brentwood-Darlington framed our conversations with technical and academic advisors, professional mentors, non-profit organizations and many more. These conversations outlined what all is possible for the neighborhood via collaborations with constituents around the city.
The Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Assessment and Action Plan is meant to inform the City of your most pressing challenges and priorities for the future. We hope this project and our final plan serves as a guide and a touchstone; a reminder of where the neighborhood has been, and an arrow pointing the way to the community’s shared vision of the future.
Here are a short list of recommendations vetted by us and other planning experts, but that were inspired by all of you:
- Maintain affordable homes like mobile home parks with the “right of first refusal”
- Purchase naturally occurring affordable multi-family properties
- Transform the property on the NE corner of 72nd and Flavel into a mixed-use development
- Add a N/S route along 72nd Avenue that would link Brentwood-Darlington to Mt Scott Community
- Center and the Foster/Powell neighborhood
- Re-route the #19 bus that goes downtown over the Tilikum Bridge to cut down on commute time downtown
- Make Cooper a “play street”
- Designating SE 52nd as a neighborhood corridor
- Seek rezoning some of the current R2.5 residential zoning south of Flavel Street
- Bring back the community policing program
- BDNA to connect with existing organizations, like the Vietnamese Community of Oregon or the Latino Network, which hosts a Latino Parent Group that meets monthly at Lane
- Apply for an AmeriCorps to fund a paid position for the BDNA
- Celebrate your successes with neighborhood placards in places like Harney Park and the Community Center
We invite you to celebrate with us, ask us your questions and discuss how the neighborhood can take action and move forward with positive change at our Neighborhood Celebration on June 25th at the Brentwood-Darlington Community Center. There will be an ice cream sundae bar, cake, yard games, and more! We hope to see you there to celebrate what an awesome community you have and one that we enjoyed to work with ever so dearly.