Our project, in a nutshell by Sara

•July 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

July 27

It was a workday today on our project.  I realized that we never really laid out the plan for our project in the blog before.  Our client, Peyton Chapman of the Lincoln School, told us to make a recommendation for what Lincoln School should do and how it should rebuild, modeling after the Long-Term Development Committee’s plan, you can see here at http://lincoln.pps.k12.or.us/ltdc. When we read this, it really didn’t include all of Goose Hollow in the process, so we are trying to do that.   Given that we are not determining whether a new Lincoln High School should be build, we are just trying to understand how a new LHS could best serve the immediate community. We have created 4 different surveys, one for students, parents, teachers and the larger community each, and collected as many responses as we could.  We are still inputting the data, analyzing and making conclusions from them, and hopefully we will be able to include them in our proposal.  The purpose of this is to decide what do people actually want out of their school, if we can make the school into the center of the community and what Goose Hollow wants for a 20-minute neighborhood.  We realize that sending a survey out via email in the middle of summer for just a couple days, will not reap the same amount as one in the school year when people aren’t traveling and such, but we can start the discussion of looking at the rebuilding of Lincoln High in a new light.  This proposal we are going to make will just be the starting block for any future study Lincoln students might want to do later, and make a little more thought out proposal that covers everything imaginable.

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Since we are doing this in such a short time, we might not have covered all the bases, and time is a constraint for us.  In our proposal, we will make sure that there is a part where we acknowledge what we could have done if time wasn’t a hindrance. 

But we do have a presentation to give on Friday, and we have to have something.  We have figured out that we will make a ‘formal’ paper with all the necessary parts to it, like LTDC’s plan, a presentation (slideshow) and a slideshow set to music that we can post on YouTube, a pamphlet that people can take home and/or leave in LHS’s office and a giant map to use as a presentation tool.  The document will include an executive summary, introduction, historic background, summary of current conditions, finding, recommendations, methodology, references and the various appendices we deem necessary (like a glossary).  The visual should be pictures of maybe the current neighborhood and what the neighborhood should look like?  We’ll have to see what they look like, but I bet they’ll be awesome.  There are giant maps that we are making, one we put the current businesses and buildings in the LHS area, and one we will laminate so we can use dry erase markers on to show what we might want.  We will give them both to LHS to use however they might want to, because who doesn’t want a giant map?  We also might use it in our presentation, to show people where we are talking about.  The presentation will be Friday at 10 am, so we are going to have to have this all done by then.  I know we can do it if we all put our minds to it and divide the work.  It’ll be fun.

North/Northeast Passage by Max

•July 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

 

DSCN1635Today was one of the greatest days since the beginning of the class three weeks ago. We started off by meeting George in his neighborhood, where we had a delicious breakfast of bacon, potatoes, scrambled eggs and an apple crisp. The apples and the potatoes were my favorite, but it was all really good. After breakfast we watched a documentary about gentrification in George’s neighborhood/NE Portland called “Northeast Passage.”  It was a very informative film, which gave us insight into how people are coming in and remodeling houses therefore raising property values. Although some areas in his neighborhood need to be redone, this gentrification makes it harder for lower income people to find homes due to the higher prices. The film also talked about the drug problem NE Portland used to be known for.

After the film, we went out into the neighborhood, and we were asked to write down the pros and cons of the hood as well as signs of gentrification. Personally I found this area to be great, because it is a “20-minute neighborhood,” plenty of things to do, local businesses, sustainable low income housing (Shaver GreeN), and much more. Some downsides were the fact that there were a lot of open lots, un-leased buildings, and some brownfields. We walked around MLK, N. Williams, Mississippi and Interstate Ave for about an hour before returning to George’s house for a potluck lunch. Everyone in our group brought amazing, and delicious food that they cooked (except for me). My favorite was the “war rice” that Philip Paek brought; it was sweet and tasted great.

After lunch we discussed surveys, and laid out the maps that we created, so we could show where we have gone for the surveys we took yesterday. At around 2:30 everything was done, and we went home.

Surveys = Goodness by Philip

•July 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Max and I had a pretty darn interesting experience today. Since our team was in need of community survey information, we headed out of our building and began to work our way from Park blocks where the Wednesday Farmer’s Market is. Max and I were ‘fired up’ about getting all 50 surveys done in tough conditions (no one was out there since people were all working). However, we asked almost every person we could ask around the Goose Hollow area; from the huge man with glasses to a man with glaring and reprimanding eyes. I have never really talked to these kinds of people. However, Max and I were hungry young men, eager to finish all 50 surveys. Also I’ve learned a pretty good lesson too. During my adventurous survey, this lady from Vancouver asked me where Lincoln High School was, Max and I told her the direction with our warm hearted voices. Later, I had one survey left, and Max had 2. So we went to Lincoln High School to check out the track and soccer team having an intense pre-season practice (one girl was doing crunches non stop for about 10 minutes. I thought she was from the military or something). Anyway this lady from Vancouver who asked me the directionsDSCN1628 was seated on the bench and she smiled at me and asked me what the paper was about. So I got my last survey filled out with a smile from the lady and a lesson learned (If you’re good to others, you will get goodness back from others somehow). Anyway, Max and I are pretty darn good at searching people out and getting surveys done.

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What do monkeys and social equity have in common? by Hana

•July 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

DSCN1604Today, July 22, 2009, we had a work day and we met with Jill Fuglister, the executive director of the Coalition for a Livable Future.  For our work day, we split into two groups, one took pictures of the area surrounding Lincoln High School (both the positives and negatives) and the other group took the rough draft of our student survey finalized it and put it on Survey Monkey.  Survey Monkey is our new favorite thing; it is free and fulfills all of your surveying needs!  Check it out at www.surveymankey.com.  We created this survey so we could ask the students of LHS how they feel about the neighborhood surrounding their school.  We will use the information from this survey to evaluate how LHS can be rebuilt in a way that will better the community making it a walkable and accessible 20-minute neighborhood.  We are also currently creating a parent, teacher and a community member survey.  Later in the day, we met with Jill Fuglister and she talked with us about the cool stuff they do at the Coalition for a Livable Future to create more sustainability, environmental justice and social equity.  Check out their website at www.clfuture.org. We all found the maps they had really amazing because of how they relate to our Lincoln High School project.  Lastly, George shared with us some of his own urban planning projects and videos to show us some optional products for our project.  All in all it was a good day and we got a lot of work done!DSCN1621

Ahhhh, Big Maps! by Chris

•July 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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The group and their hand-drawn map of the Lincoln High School '20-Minute Neighborhood'

The group and their hand-drawn map of the Lincoln High School '20-Minute Neighborhood'

On Tuesday, the massive map got finished. Through hard work and perseverance, I became a mapmaker. George and I were talking about the maps Lewis and Clark created and how little resources they had compared to us. At the start I was hesitant about spending a lot of time making a map, but now I am happy I did. The map is about 50 by 50 inches and everything is scaled well. Lincoln High School is centered in the middle of the map and it extends to past SW Alder and SW Market on the north and south sides. On Monday, Max called Bridge City Legal and got in contact with Joe, who picked up our map and made two photocopies for about $20.00. It was excellent service as he drove and picked up the map and returned with three maps in one afternoon. Joe is the man for massive photocopies. Besides the map, PUPLI composed an outline of the Lincoln report everyone will assist in making. We talked about our group’s strengths and weaknesses. I spent the afternoon trying to set up interviews with Lew Bowers from PDC and Sarah Singer from PPS. The idea is to interview each of them about LHS and its 20-minute neighborhood. Others in PUPLI carefully wrote survey questions that will be sent to a wide variety of the community around LHS. Max, Phillip, and I wrote questions, which will be sent to LHS students through SurveyMonkey. It is electrifying to see our project take shape.

So it Begins… by Sarah

•July 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

July 20, 2009

Today we met with the principal of Lincoln High School, Peyton Chapman, and she told us about our job as consultants.  She had a slightly different point of view then Kirsten (the Lincoln Business Manager) did on what should be done and the problems, but mostly they agreed upon the areas that needed work.  They both agreed that the school needed more classroom space and better amenities to be used by both the students and the community, but Kirsten wanted parking and the principal was against adding any more parking.  The principal also said that Lincoln was actually under-enrolled, not overcrowded. She said the school needs more transfers to maximize their enrollment, and as I understood, they needed to modernize and make Lincoln the best it can be so it will attract more students.  She also wanted the school to be a community center, and to be multi-purpose and for all ages. 

She wants us to write a report or an initial plan that mirrors the LTDC’s plan, only in our perspective.  The principal would like to see the way we view it as students and Portlanders, and not only the adults in the committee’s point of view.  She realized that what we may think is most important is not what adults think of, and so she wants us to look at the plan with new eyes.  We are trying to send out a survey to the student body at Lincoln to see what they think and what they would like to see, but as it is summer, I don’t know how many responses we will get.  When we write up this plan, she hopes to be able to let the students at Lincoln see it after school starts and tweak it as they see fit.  So I think she just wants us to start off the discussion with the LTDC, involving the students. 

I got the impression that Ms. Chapman is very determined, and I admire that about her.  She feels very protective of her students and feels they deserve better.  So I think she is working hard to find loopholes and strategies with the district to try to get this rebuilding of Lincoln under way.  It is great to have a principal of a high school feel that impassioned that she would do almost anything for her students.  It was refreshing to meet someone whose care for her students is so palpable. 

She would like us to give a presentation to the LTDC about our recommendations, and possibly the leadership class at LHS during the school year.  We also should get some sort of visuals; be it a power point, picture or a video.  We do know that we need to give a presentation that will get our ideas across effectively and clearly to everyone, and we only have 2 weeks to do it.  So it begins…

The Private Side by Max

•July 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

DSCN1583This morning was more of a review of the week. We talked about how the program is going so far, and it seems that everyone is enjoying it. After talking for hours we headed off to URS corp., which marks a switch from the public sector to the private sector. If you look on their website http://www.urscorp.com you can see all the cool things they have done, such as the Baltimore/Washington airport. They are adding a new terminal complex to fit Southwest Airlines, and the cost is about $435 million dollars. We walked from the Ladd to URS which is a development and planning corporation that operates in the private sector. One of the upsides of the private sector is we got free lunch, which is a plus in my book. We mainly heard planners who worked for URS talk about the street car project. Although don’t expect anything soon because it is going to take a long time for this whole 74 mile street car project to be completed.

 
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