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City planning -- Oregon -- Lents, Neighborhood planning -- Oregon -- Lents, Urban community development -- Oregon -- Lents


This document is the complement to the Issues Analysis. The Issues Analysis looked at the problems and issues which confront the Lents neighborhood. This document proposes actions that can be taken to address the issues identified in the previous analysis. Each section, e.g. Environment, Transportation, etc., has its own goals and subsequent objectives and actions. A goal is a broad statement of what is the desired outcome for the neighborhood. More specific objectives identify what needs to be done to improve things and to remedy the identified problems. The actions are means to achieve an objective. Specific potential implementers are then proposed for each action suggested. Interconnections between different sections exist for many problems and solutions. For example, the light rail alignment is a transportation issue but has ramifications in all aspects of life. Because of the inter-relatedness of the urban system, it was concluded that a unifying vision would be the best vehicle to present the means of addressing the neighborhood's issues. Three distinct visions of potential futures for the neighborhood of Lents are presented below.

The time scale for these visions is long, approximately 50 years. This allows for three distinctly different visions for Lents. The three visions are; Status Quo, Urban Villages and Regional Attractor. The visions act to encompass all the linkages and provide direction towards a unified future state of existence for the neighborhood. An urban system, like any system, needs to have connection and continuity between its various parts for it to function efficiently. The visions are a means of achieving this.

In the Status Quo vision the neighborhood will continue to move through time without major adjustments to its existing state. The actions for change are congruent with the existing state of the neighborhood. Goals and objectives for this vision relate directly to current neighborhood concerns. The suggested actions work towards alleviating current problems and making the neighborhood a better place to live, work and do business. The land use structure and neighborhood function would be not be altered in any significant way.

The Urban Village's fundamental idea is to strive for neighborhood selfsufficiency. The neighborhood is separated into "nodes" or "activity centers." A node or activity center is a relatively small area of diverse and intense activity. The nodes help to define residents' sense of neighborhood. A node might have a public open space, such as a developed park, which would be surrounded by mixed-use development, commercial on the first floor and residential above. The nodes would be linked by pedestrian friendly greenways (streets improved with trees and flora) encouraging walking as the preferred mode of transportation. Density would be increased around the nodes to further encourage pedestrian travel and make businesses economically viable to customers using this mode of travel. Educational facilities would be linked closely to neighborhood needs, and cottage industries would be encouraged.

In the Regional Attractor vision, the neighborhood would serve a specialized function to the whole metropolitan region. The focus would switch from mainly residential concerns to primaily employment generating concerns. Industry and business would be the critical elements in this neighborhood vision. Automobile or transit use would be the major modes of travel to ensure the neighborhood has regional accessibility. The neighborhood would serve as a single component within a regional system.

This document will explore each of these visions in greater depth and present the means to making the vision a reality. While no single vision of Lents will seem preferable to everyone, the hope in presenting these three distinctly different potential futures for the neighborhood, is to reinforce an understanding of the tradeoffs that must be considered when developing a Lents plan. The intent is not to actually see the implementation of one of these visions, but rather to make the choices that must be made between one action and another more explicit. Our sincere hope is that any dialoque this document provokes will be one in which the interests of all Lents residents, present and future, are considered.


A product of Portland State University's Masters in Urban and Regional Planning student workshop.


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