One of Portland’s great treasures – its remarkable grid of walkable streets

Portland’s walkable, transit-supportive street grid is the envy of many other cities. Principal streets are continuous at a 1/4 mile spacing across barriers – even rivers and freeways. This is an important feature, as research has shown (see e.g. http://zeta.math.utsa.edu/~yxk833/UrbanNuclei.pdf)

As we’re assessing what we in Portland need to do to build on our livable heritage, and how we can exchange lessons with other cities, it’s worth stopping occasionally to look at the powerful assets we do have.  One of our most important assets is surely our famously walkable street grid – a holdover from the 19th Century streetcar city design, based in turn on the Continental Land Survey with its 1-mile grid system.

Here’s an article from a while back celebrating this treasure, and pointing out the important lessons it has to offer to other cities.  Those are lessons we can still learn too, as we look to re-connect and revitalize sprawling parts of the city, and the region.

Portland’s Remarkable Model of Modern Walkable Urbanism