Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1996


Urban planning -- Oregon -- Portland, Multiculturalism


This handbook was designed and developed within the scope of our Planning Workshop class. The Planning Workshop class, a two-term sequence course, consists of second-year graduate students in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program (MURP) at Portland State University. Students are required to do a group project which addresses a current planning problem or issue in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area.

This handbook represents our investigation of educational and training strategies for individuals in the field of urban and regional planning on possible ways to operate effectively in a racially and culturally diverse community and workplace. It is intended to inform and reshape the thinking and actions of planners.

This handbook, or perhaps resource guide, is a collection of ideas, examples, andmethodologies of effective and practical ways to help planners working in culturally diverse communities. Moreover, this handbook is different regarding the content and structure because there was a variety of input-from diverse groups of people. Therefore, we must inform planners that this handbook will not fit a traditional, planning document approach, nor will this handbook be a guide for planning practitioners only. There is something in this guide for any individual in the field of urban and regional planning.

We did not develop this guide to force or convince planners that multiculturalism is the answer to all planning problems. Also, we did not want to engulf this document with loads of data regarding planning efforts that have failed due to cultural insensitivity. Instead, we wanted to note educational and training strategies that might yield positive outcomes to future planning efforts; but most importantly, we developed this guide because of the following:

  • Many planning students believe our program is not explicitly addressing racial and cultural issues and they wanted to know what can be done.
  • Guest speakers from local planning agencies have failed to discuss any cultural tensions and/ or cultural solutions they may have experienced in practice.

This project was conducted under the supervision of Deborah Howe and Connie Ozawa.


Clients: The planning profession and planning students


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