Hello, I would like to be the first to say welcome to the new way of
communication, in the 21st Century, in this world of text messaging, twitter and facebook . I now have the pleasure of introducing the next in the
chain of communications from behind the keyboard, The Blog. This is our way of keeping you up-to-date with the progress of our class and what we are doing and learning in class. Most blogs may seem egotistical, but we’ll try and stay away from that. We are just high school students here, we aren’t that amazing but we do like to think that we are.
I am one of the 13 students in Lincoln High School’s first Urban
Planning Class taught by George ‘last-name-none-of-us-can-pronounce’
Zaninovich and Bart Millar (much easier on the tongue muscles and
brain). We began this year with discussions, lectures, readings and
videos about the different bureaus that makes Portland ‘the city that
works’ . We touched on the urban growth boundary, mixed use districts like the Pearl, community involvement, public spaces like parks and 23rd ave,transportation and other essentials to our city. We ended this with a
mini project of creating a small district that had set up zones, high
density housing, mixed use and commercial with overlays of
transportation, social services, and parks. This changed into our
project that we ended our first semester with, the district plan of
the Brooklyn Rail Yard. For this project we used the topography of the Brooklyn Rail Yard in Portland, but ignored any existing buildings. Then we placed the following zones: housing, commercial and mixed use, we
were then broken up into 6 different bureaus that would work together
to plan the district.
- Transportation (Aaron and McKenzie).
- Economic Development (Aiden and Max).
- Social Services (Dina and Emma).
- Housing (Evelyn and Tayler).
- Parks and Environment (Louis and Will).
- And Citizen Involvement (Andrea and Quin).
Together we layed in the structure of our district with schools,
public transportation, business areas parks, a library, a
state-of-the-art homeless shelter, a plaza, its own version of the water-front park we all loved a pedestrain only street full of shoping and restaurants. This was our project to work together to create a livable
district that could safely, equitably, provide accessibility and
service to the whole district community.
This is easier said, well read, actually in this case its easier typed
than done. We all had very different ideas between the 12 of us
students and George ‘last-name-that-is-harder-to-say-than-Sea-Anemone’
Zaninovich. Us being the group of Lincoln students, who are
stereotypes as rich kids that think way to highly of themselves, but
all in all we are humans brought up in a democratic republic with one
of our rights being freedom of speech, it is in our nature to argue
anything that isn’t our idea because we can, and our way is the only
right way. Of course this may have been influenced a bit by the fact
that in our class has two of our Speech and Debate Teams top junior
scorers, residing in it. Needless to say, even though I’m still going
to typing it, finalizing any part took a long time and was sometimes
revisited, reargued over the same topics, changed, moved, changed
back, erased and argued over again, all because we didn’t know if the
street car should turn at one street corner or go an extra block then
turn. As silly as that may sound it is a very important part of our
design process it was a question of should the street car go through
mixed housing or inbetween mixed use and the water front park. We
decided inbetween the park and mixed use, easier to get to the park
and doesn’t disrupt the housing in mixed use but still allows for
businesses to be accessible. We finished the District Plan which was
then put into photoshop and changed into a cleaner version, of the
previous rough laminated version that was taped together. This version
was presented to Rex Burkholder (who is running for Metro President),
he took time out of his campaigning schedule to come in and listen to
a bunch of high school student as we presented our district and why we
designed it how we did. He listened commented asked questions and
provided critique and constructive critisism when and where it
applied. This was how our first semester was spent learning the basics
from George ‘last-name-that-we-mumble-through-so-he-doesn’t-notice-how-bad-we-are-at-saying-it’
Zaninovich and applying them to a project and presenting it as if it
was part of a city plan that was going to be built. Now we face our
next challenge the school redesign and the installation of 21st
century schools in the Portland Public Schools.