An event next month hosted by the Portland Parks Foundation will delve into a very relevant topic for transportation advocates: the intersection of public space and social justice. On March 17th they’ll host an event titled, Re-inventing Portland: Public Space, Creativity, and Social and Spatial Justice. The speaker is urbanist, racial justice activist and Harvard University School of Design graduate Liz Ogbu.
On the surface, the value of this event might not seem obvious to some BikePortland readers. But look deeper.
When the pandemic first hit last March, many of us push PBOT to create safer, low-car spaces on public streets. Given the boom in demand and overflowing sidewalks, mixed with the need for safe socially distanced physical activity, it seemed like a no-brainer. But the commissioner-in-charge of PBOT at the time and some advocates felt like it shouldn’t be rushed into because “open streets” aren’t necessarily open to all.