The Future of Transportation in Downtown Portland: Inspirations from the 1972 Downtown Plan



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Fourth of an eight-part series of panel discussions, held October 6-November 15, 2022 and presented by Portland State University's College of Urban and Public Affairs, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the City of Portland's 1972 Downtown Plan.



Gabriel Graff, Central City Capital Program Manager, Portland Bureau of Transportation

André Lightsey-Walker, Policy Transformation Manager, The Street Trust

Mark Raggett, Associate Principal, GBD Architects and Director of Planning and Design, Friends of Green Loop

Cathy Tuttle, Board Member, BikeLoud PDX

Moderated by Jennifer Dill, Professor, Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning and Director of PSU’s Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC)


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Higher Education | Urban Studies and Planning


The year 2022 marked the 50th anniversary of the City of Portland's 1972 Downtown Plan, one of the most consequential plans in the city's history. It put in place a vision for a public, pedestrian-scaled, multipurpose, and vital downtown. Through the requirements adopted in the Downtown Plan and subsequent public and private investments stemming from it, Portland's core area became an international icon for central city recovery. That plan also formally identified Portland State University as the city's "urban university."

In February of this year, PhD candidate, Kimberly Nightingale, and Professor Emeritus, Ethan Seltzer, wrote a paper entitled Portland, Portland State, and the Urban University Idea that examines the history of the urban university idea in the U.S. and presents a working definition of what an urban university is today. It then examines the way that being an urban university has been baked into Portland State's identity from its very beginning, and concludes with some thoughts about where we might go from here.

In October and November 2022, PSU College of Urban and Public Affairs recognized the fiftieth anniversary of Portland's Downtown Plan with a series of six panel discussions that follow from Nightingale and Seltzer's paper, focusing on aspects of planning in downtown Portland and PSU's role as the city's urban university.

Professor Seltzer was interviewed on "Portland State and the Downtown Plan" for the September 27, 2022 episode of PDXPLORES.

The Future of Transportation in Downtown Portland: Inspirations from the 1972 Downtown Plan