Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on August 20th, 2013 at 9:20 am
(Photo © M.Andersen/BikePortland)
Every day, Portland’s Eastbank Esplanade is a thumping, clunking, whirring, panting mile of proof that human-friendly infrastructure in a common public space can create great results.
At an urban development conference I attended in May, a fellow reporter told me about a rule of thumb in the architecture world: the hallmark of successful urban design is that it makes couples want to share a kiss. Beautiful views and pleasant places make people want to express love.
Have you noticed that people have recently felt a similar impulse on the Esplanade’s grated crossing just north of the Morrison Bridge? Over the last two years, the fence overlooking the Willamette River there has started filling up with padlocks marked with hearts, dates and people’s names.
Love padlocks are a tradition that might have started in Serbia in the mid-20th century. They’ve recently spread to public fixtures around the world, from Rome and Prague to Sydney, Montevideo and Seoul. Wikipedia doesn’t know of any other spots here in Oregon.