‘Green Loop’ takes center stage at Design Week Portland

The Green Loop will come of age at Design Week Portland.
(Images: Untitled Studio)

Design Week Portland kicks off tonight. If you are an urban planner, transportation reformer, bicycle commuter, or just a lover of Portland, you should check out what they’ve got planned.

“… design process whereby Portlanders define the character and identity of the project in a way that reflects their individual needs and aspirations for the future.”

The event — which runs through next Saturday (April 29th) — features several bicycle, transportation and urban planning-related talks, workshops and more. And this year the City of Portland’s Green Loop project is the brightest star of the entire festival.

From this Sunday through Friday (April 28th), there will be a free Green Loop exhibition at Design Week Portland Headquarters at The Redd (831 SE Salmon St). At Assembling a Mosiac, planners aim to “bring to life a design concept for the Green Loop” — a project they describe as a “six-mile linear park, linking Portland’s east and west sides with a robust bicycle and pedestrian network.” Untitled Studio, winners of the LoopPDX design competition, will host the exhibition. You can learn more about their vision for the Loop here.

Here’s more from DWP organizers about the exhibition’s goals and objectives:

» Leverage the power of art & design to facilitate relevant, community-based conversations about the Green Loop
» Solicit participation from a diverse set of participants throughout Portland’s communities
» Collaborate across disciplines from the design community, policy professionals, planners, developers, community activists, civic stakeholders, and residents
» Captivate & inspire audiences through engaging programming & visual, interactive exhibits
» Unveil a process for designing the Green Loop through community participation

But wait, there’s a whole lot more!

Below is a list of some of the other bicycle and transportation-related events that are part of the festival: (Descriptions taken from DWP website. Please note some events require tickets and some are already sold out!):

Sunday, April 23rd

Portland Bridges: History, Design, Symbolism – 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Eastbank Esplanade ($15) – More info here
The bridges of “Bridge City” provide the perfect setting and subject for a walking tour and conversation about the history, design and symbolism of these urban icons. They also provide insight to the social and economic aspirations of our city as they convey a rich history of Portland’s growth and development, our transportation priorities, and point to the city’s future in urban planning and design. This walking conversation will begin at the Vera Katz statue on the Eastside Esplanade, cross the Hawthorne Bridge, head north in Waterfront Park to the Morrison Bridge, cross it, then head south to finish at our newest bridge across the Willamette, the Tilikum Crossing. The history of all of Portland’s Willamette River bridges will be discussed. The route is roughly 1.5 miles.

Monday, April 24th

HQ Pop Up: Cycle Shop – 4:00 to 9:00 pm at The Redd (
831 SE Salmon St) – More info here
What’s better than talking about bicycling and where and how and why we should ride? Actually riding bikes! River City Bicycles and Nutcase Helmets will be on site at The Redd showcasing bicycles and any accessories you might require to ride safely and in style. Members of their knowledgeable, charismatic, and enthusiastic crews will be on hand to offer guidance on gear.


Go inside Vanilla’s workshop to see where Speedvagens are made.

Ask an Expert, The Green Loop – 5:00 to 6:30 at The Redd (831 SE Salmon St) – More info here
Lora Lillard is an urban designer with the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. As part of the BPS Urban Design Studio, Lora and her team have led the development of the Green Loop concept as well as other plans and projects that advance the quality of design citywide. Having been active in the field of urban design for 15 years, Lora’s work regularly involves promoting strategies to activate public space and motivate active transportation for all ages and abilities.
Courtney Ferris part of Untitled Studio, the design team behind the 2017 DWP Headquarters and the exhibition, Assembling a Mosaic: A Vision for the Portland Green Loop. Untitled Studio is a design collective comprised of architects, urban designers, and writers from Portland, San Francisco, and New York. Armed with a degree in architecture, Courtney’s professional work often sits at the intersection of urban design, transportation planning, and civic engagement.

Ask an Expert, Bicycles and Bicycling – Riding, Racing, Repair – 5:00 to 6:30 pm at The Redd (831 SE Salmon St) – More info here
Would you like to know more about bicycles and bicycling? Now’s your chance, just ask! Event host Clint Culpepper is the Bicycle Program Coordinator at Portland State University and has overseen the PSU Bike Hub since it’s opening in January of 2010. He oversaw the founding and expansion of the 160+ Vike Bike rental program as well as the construction of 10 secure bicycle garages on campus. Portland State University is one of five Platinum level Bicycle Friendly Universities in the U.S.

Transit on Tap: Tales from Two Perspectives – 4:00 to 6:00 pm at The Redd (831 SE Salmon St) – More info here
Bob Hastings, FAIA, Agency Architect
— Over the 40 years of TriMet’s transit oriented urban design there has been an evolving approach to building the city that supports livable communities. TriMet has used the process of design to ask the question; what do we want to become as a community? Beginning with the opening of the Transit Mall in downtown Portland (1977), each subsequent project has sought to contribute to the local community’s Integration of environmental, social, human and economic goals in policies and activities. This presentation will provide a broad overview of the Agency’s transition as it learned to weave itself into the natural, economic, and human fabric of the adjacent neighborhoods. Along the way, the Agency learned, sometimes with difficulty, that transparency in its many forms is an essential principle to connecting people with their destinations. The Orange Line light rail project (2015) aspired to distinguish the alignment as a system within Portland, Milwaukie, and Clackamas County that became the city itself.

Jeff Owen Senior Planner, Active Transportation

— The first and last mile between departure and destination are so important in TriMet’s transit system. Portland’s Green Loop project aspires to create rich and varied experiences for citizens to navigate throughout the city. This presentation will look at several existing and emerging examples of how transit patrons are making their connections within, and throughout, the region. As they traverse the various scales of their community, they are encountering an emerging ntwork of choices to fulfill their daily needs. A rich tapestry is revealing itself through the coordination of TriMet, its regional communities, and other partners…both public and private…to build and support a robust active transportation system.

Portland’s Green Loop: The New Central City Rising – 6:30 to 8:30 pm at The Redd (831 SE Salmon) – More info here
Imagine a verdant, 6-mile loop for pedestrians and bicycles connecting the Pearl District, West End, Cultural District, PSU, South of Market, South Waterfront, the Central Eastside, Lloyd District, and Rose Quarter. Now imagine the bolder, taller, more urban Portland rising along it.

Last year’s Design Week Portland featured an international design competition for a strategy to bring the Green Loop to life. This year, the winner – Untitled Studio, a collective from Portland, New York, and San Francisco – is transforming DWP’s Headquarters into an interactive exhibit of their work so far.

Join Green Loop competition director, Randy Gragg, as he hosts a fast-paced evening of presentations by the civic leaders building a bold new Portland destined to rise along this city-shaping work of infrastructure.

Portland’s Green Loop-A Status Report:
Susan Anderson, Director, Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, outlines the vision-and steps ahead-to make the Loop a reality.

The Post Office Blocks Redevelopment:
Kimberly Branam, Executive Director, Portland Development Commission
Kathy Berg, Design Partner at ZGF, on the City of Portland’s largest redevelopment site.

The Portland Art Museum’s Rothko Pavilion:
Brian Ferriso, Executive Director, Portland Art Museum, on a new connection between the museum’s past, present, and future.

Oregon Health Science University’s South Waterfront expansion:
Brian Newman, Vice President of Campus Development, OHSU, on the future of the university’s waterfront expansion.

Zidell Yards:
Charlene Zidell on the history and future transformation of one of Portland’s great waterfront industrial sites.

OMSI Redevelopment:
Carol Gossett, Development Manager, OMSI, on Snohetta’s master plan for 16 acres of prime, Central Eastside, waterfront land.

The New Bike Bridges of I-84, I-5, and I-405:
Leah Treat, Director, Portland Bureau of Transportation, on the proposed new bridges connecting the Green Loop.

Green Looping the Future Food Economy:
Nathan Kadish, Ecotrust
Franklin Jones of B-Line bike transport on The Redd’s food hub and the growing economy of pedal-powered goods.

Rose Quarter Futures:
Rukaiyah Adams, Chief Investment Officer, Meyer Memorial Trust
Zari Santner, Former Director, Portland Parks & Recreation on how history must be, both, respected and made in the Rose Quarter.

The Green Loop Ahead:
William Smith and Courtney Ferris, Untitled Studio, winner of the LoopPDX competition in 2016.

Urban Design and Transportation Trivia – 9:00 to 11:00 pm at The Redd (831 SE Taylor)
Do you have a discerning eye toward public transit agency logos? Can you identify the artists behind some of America’s most iconic works of land art? Do you know which city has the longest network of bicycle lanes? Does Portland’s Urban Design history make your brain tingle? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then be sure to join us for the First Annual Design Week Portland Trivia Night: Urban Design and Transportation Edition!

The contest will consist of four rounds:
Round 1: Portland’s Urban Design and Transportation History
Round 2: Urban Design and Transportation Across America and Around the World
Round 3: Visual Stimulation
Round 4: Urban Design and Transportation in Pop Culture

Successful teams will be diverse in their background knowledge, pop culture leanings, and geographic origin. Teams of up to six will compete to win a bevy of fabulous transportation- and urban design-themed prizes from our sponsors, including Biketown, Manual For Speed, Nutcase Helmets, Portland Design Works, and River City Bicycles. More info here

Wednesday, April 26th

How We Got Here: The Evolution of Portland Planning – 6:30 to 8:30 pm at The Redd (831 SE Taylor) – More info here
Portland has an international reputation for its progressive urban planning, but these bold visions – and the city’s recent explosive growth – are not without their costs. At a critical moment in Portland’s history, we investigate the city’s greatest successes as well as its notable failings. Come join a panel of scholars, curators, and architects, as we debate Portland’s recent past from the ’80s with an eye toward the future, seeking answers to the questions: where have we been, and how did we get here?

Panel featuring:
— Joe Zehnder, Chief Planner, City of Portland
— Elissa Gentler, Planning Director, Metro
— Sy Adler, Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University
— Victoria Frey, Executive Director, PICA
— Paddy Tillet, Principal, ZGF
Moderated by:
– Sarah Iannarone, Associate Director, First Stop Portland

Friday, April 28th

The Vanilla Workshop Open House – 4:00 to 7:00 pm at 1735 SE Powell – More info here
The Vanilla Workshop is a small bicycle framebuilding house in Portland, OR. We make about 200 frames per year with a staff of about 15. All design, fabrication, paint and buildout is done in-house in our workshop.
Our facilities are a great place to come and hear about our story and see how bikes go from concept to finished product. Even our unique shipping systems are worth seeing.
For a full list of events, see the DesignWeekPortland.com.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago

I’ve passed the green loop exhibit at The Redd for the last two days on my commute, and was wondering what was up; thanks for the info.

6 years ago

I really like the Green Loop ideas. However, it seems a little strange that planners don’t seem to be better incorporating the internal loop going along the Willamette River within the larger Green Loop. How about having a River Loop within the Green Loop?

6 years ago
Reply to  Danny

There’s already a continuous riverfront trail on both sides between the Steel and Hawthorne Bridges. By the time the Green Loop is completed the missing riverfront section between the Marquam and Tilikum will almost certainly be built.

6 years ago

I’ve been following this project for a couple years now. Just listened to the designers on “Think Out Loud” talk for a half-hour and I’m still unsure what this project is or will be. It just seems like a bunch of designers tying to sound cool.

High Line this, High Line that- but lets be real anything built on an abandoned elevated rail line in NYC and costing $200M would probably be pretty awesome.

6 years ago

With few safe routes to get to the Loyd district from the south, it remains an island.
The intersections 12th/Burnside and 12th/NE Loyd remain unsafe for cyclists.

Mossby Pomegranate
Mossby Pomegranate
6 years ago
Reply to  Randy

As is a vast majority of east Portland.