A blog for better streets and public spaces in Portland, Maine.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


There is a whole bunch of stuff going on this week for planning and smart growth wonks. A partial list:

Tonight at the Root Cellar on Washington Ave., the American Institute of Architects "Sustainable Design Assessment Team" arrives in Portland for a kick-off dinner and community meeting to learn about the East Bayside neighborhood (which is, incidentally, my new home).

This is a pretty exciting project. I'll let the East Bayside Neighborhood Organization explain: "Portland is one of seven communities nationwide to win a competitive grant from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for technical assistance to turn the city's East Bayside neighborhood into a model for a vibrant, sustainable, urban community."

The "technical assistance" is coming from some really bright people, including Neil Takemoto, author of the CoolTown Studios blog, who will be advising on developing the creative economy in the neighborhood, plus Seleta Reynolds, who designed these neat posters, and will be consulting on the neighborhood's bicycle and pedestrian access.

The team will be here for three days. Here's their schedule. Welcome to Portland!

Also tonight, Architalx will kick off its 2010 lecture series with a discussion about well-designed bridges, featuring David Scott of Arup and Spiro Polallis of the Harvard GSD. The idea was to inform and inspire good design for Veterans Bridge, and although that project's lackluster design is mostly a moot point now, we hope that what they say can at least inform the process for replacing the Martin's Point Bridge next year.

Tomorrow evening at One Longfellow will be the screening for "Portland: The Quest for a Livable City" (previously blogged here). I'll be there and participating in the panel discussion after the film.

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