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The Salem-Gateway project, developed by Community Development Partners (CDP), will address the community’s need for high-quality, affordable housing. The project aspires to support an intergenerational community for all ages (CFAA) and an intercultural community. The project will be a hub for residents and the broader Salem-Gateway community by providing a large community center with robust programming. The abundant green space provides outdoor amenities and recreational opportunities at the heart of the site, echoing a Central Park sentiment to be enjoyed by residents and surrounding neighbors.

As an initiative of the Center for Public Interest Design (CPID), this report aims to support and inform the development of this intergenerational, affordable housing community. The role of the CPID is to identify community assets using the ABCD model, conduct community outreach and engagement, and provide design and programming feedback based on the outreach process. The desired outcome of this work is to encourage a more robust community-building strategy and provide a more sustainable, community-oriented approach to design and programming while leveraging the already existing infrastructure and assets in the Salem- Gateway community.

The Process

Employing the ABCD approach to community development, the CPID identified various organizations, amenities, and service providers within the city and county. Community resources relating to food, health, arts, and education were of particular interest, in addition, support systems and equity recommendations for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities in the county. After identifying these assets, the CPID mapped them around the site based on accessibility by car, public transportation, walking, and biking. The CPID identified critical organizations with potential interest in partnering with the development to fill gaps within the community. The CPID contacted these organizations to understand further their available services as well as programming and design needs. These conversations were based on a potential collaboration to bring these services directly on-site to serve residents and the surrounding neighborhood.

Key Findings

The overarching themes of inclusion, community, and access to green space rose to the forefront throughout the research and engagement process. The location of the future development is referred to by the surrounding community as “John’s Free Forest” as it is a large green area with trails frequently used for dog walking, running, adventures with kids, and nature walks. Historically, John Miller has used the site to protect the 300+ year-old white oak. The main concerns and interests from the surrounding neighbors and community are maintaining the green space for public use and preserving the white oaks. The current site design plans to incorporate abundant green spaces will help address these concerns and ensure that the broader community will still have access to this area.

The large, on-site community center will provide a central gathering space for residents and surrounding community members to come together. On-site programming catered to building relationships beyond the confines of the development will foster a thriving community. Early relationship-building with local organizations allowed for the design and planning of on-site meeting and classroom spaces, including a community kitchen and other multi-use indoor and outdoor areas, for successful program integration. An outdoor plaza will act as an extension of the community center and provide more space and flexibility for programming. The plaza offers space for a potential on-site Farmer’s Market that will address the limited access to fresh foods in the area brought up several times in interviews with neighbors and surrounding organizations. Furthermore, multiuse spaces throughout the site will encourage intergenerational relationship-building where residents of all ages and backgrounds can come together and develop a sense of place and community.

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  • Community Development Partners (CDP)
  • Scott | Edwards Architecture, LLP (S|EA)
  • engAGE NW

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