Flexibility and Integrity

Portland urban designer Arun Jain has released his Urban Design Framework, a vision that requires planners to give themselves more leeway "without giving up core values."
April 15, 2009, 10am PDT | Judy Chang
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"The framework includes Jain's 'nodes' concept. 'These locations capitalize the convergence of existing and proposed infrastructure to leverage the most out of civic-minded and private development,' he said. 'They strengthen the public realm by acknowledging and improving what is already in place, while laying the ground for city-defining new iconic architecture.'

He envisions, for example, a development at the east end of the proposed Willamette River Crossing, a pedestrian/bus/light rail bridge slightly south of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. The development could include mixed-use buildings at the end of the bridge as well as waterfront fairgrounds and a railway museum.

Another node idea is to have a tower at the west end of the Morrison Bridge. The tower could have a 'giant, grand atrium' at its center and be flanked on its north and south sides by east- and west-bound lanes connecting to the Morrison Bridge. 'The building would be an actor on a stage,' said Jain. 'There is something grand and civic-minded about how the building and transit would come together.'"

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Published on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 in Daily Journal of Commerce
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