population and density increase, more parks and open
spaces will be needed.
Portlanders express a deep appreciation for parks and
open spaces, believing that access to these places within
the city contributes immeasurably to Portland’s livability.
People appreciate the variety of recreational opportunities
available at parks, including opportunities to play
sports, take classes, hike on trails and experience
wildlife within the city boundaries. Community members
repeatedly mention the connection between parks and
community, noting that parks create neighborhood pride
and provide spaces for people to gather.
In terms of access, many Portlanders are impressed
with how easily accessible parks and open spaces are.
Others, however, would like to see accessibility improved,
especially for people with disabilities, children and
residents of low-income communities. Portlanders are
concerned with equity in regards to parks and open spaces,
calling for more parks and better-maintained parks in
low-income neighborhoods. Looking to the future, Portlanders
want current open spaces preserved and more open spaces
created as the city’s population grows and becomes denser.
and open spaces contribute immensely to urban livability.
help build strong communities.
- Every neighborhood should
have a healthy park within walking distance.
- Portland needs to invest
in parks and open spaces for the future.
- How accessible are Portland’s
parks and open spaces?
- How safe and clean are
the city's parks?
and open spaces contribute immensely to urban
- Portlanders love the city’s parks and see
them one of the primary ingredients of urban
- Parks and open spaces help make the city
literally “green,” a feature that many Portlanders—both long-time residents and newcomers—greatly
- People appreciate the large number of parks
in Portland as well as their variety, ranging from Forest
Park to Waterfront Park to smaller, distinct neighborhood parks.
- Portlanders are proud of the community’s
history of planning for parks and greenspaces
and want to see that legacy of forward-thinking
- Many people associate parks with a healthy
lifestyle for adults and particularly for
- People appreciate the variety of recreational
opportunities available at parks, including
- Play sports (e.g. basketball, soccer,
- Take classes through community centers;
- Garden in community gardens;
- Hike on trails; and
- Experience wildlife within the city
- People appreciate that parks and open spaces
serve as natural habitat and corridors for
wildlife (as one Portlander put it, “frog freeways”).
guess you could say, I love the parks.
They’re just a great place to take my
daughter and living right downtown there
isn’t much grass, so it’s real nice to
be able to go somewhere and run barefoot
in grass and picnic with my family and
amazing surroundings. The parks truly
make Portland what it is…the only place
where I see generations merge!”
- Make parks pesticide-free.
- To the extent possible, preserve native
greenery in all new parks and open spaces
that are created.
- Create more bike trails that connect to
- Install more fountains for children to play
- Create a special park for the homeless
(others want the homeless removed from
- “Provide better opportunities for citizens
to help develop and maintain our parks and
- “Provide a variety of recreational opportunities
for people of varying abilities.”
help build strong communities.
- Portlanders believe that parks (especially
neighborhood parks) help strengthen the community
in the following ways:
- Parks are a neighborhood asset and therefore
build neighborhood pride and a sense of
- Parks give neighbors a place to meet,
intermingle and get to know each other;
- Parks bring events into communities,
such as concerts and celebrations; and
- Community centers and recreation programs
at parks provide constructive activities
for neighborhood children and help elders stay engaged through
classes and social activities.
“[I value] the parks, because they are
community builders, gathering places,
and give kids of all classes access to
the same facilities…They also provide
access to outdoor recreation—hiking,
biking—and they’re beautiful.”
2030] There are state of the art Community
Centers like the Tualatin Hills Recreation
located throughout Portland where residents
of all ages can gather, learn, exercise,
- Bring more concerts and community
events to parks.
- Make recreation programs at parks free
and/or more affordable.
- Create more activities for youth at recreation
- Fund local art in the parks all over Portland.
- Create more community gardens in parks,
so people can grow their own food and so children
can learn how to grow plants.
neighborhood should have a healthy park within
- It is important for parks to be “healthy,” cool, lush, green and well-maintained.
- Some neighborhoods have parks, but their
parks are dry, full of weeds, lacking in interesting
plants and trees and poorly maintained.
- Portlanders want access to healthy parks
expanded throughout the city, so that residents
of all neighborhoods have access to excellent
- Some respondents want to see all parks become
- Areas that need more parks or better maintained
- Eastside neighborhoods, which generally
need access to more open space;
- Areas with high concentrations of ethnic
minorities and/or low-income residents;
- David Douglas;
- The Northeast Cully Neighborhood; and
- The Northeast Williams/Albina area.
2030] parks will be part of everyone’s
lives. There will be more options for
fitness for people of all ages and abilities.”
2030] we have a vibrant waterfront community
on both sides of the clean Willamette
River. There is a good mix of parks and
urban spaces in all quadrants of the city
and all quadrants are easily accessible
by an affordable light rail system.”
- Incorporate sustainable design
elements like water catchments to ease maintenance
burdens and increase health of parks.
- Incorporate native plants, trees and flowers
to combat weeds and other invasive elements
in run-down parks.
needs to invest in parks and open spaces for
- Portland needs more parks and open spaces
to prevent a growing population from stressing
existing greenspace (they would like to maintain
the current people to parks ratio).
- We should also seek to create more trails,
paths and skate parks as the population grows.
- All current parks and greenspaces should
be preserved and maintained (especially “wild
areas” such as Mt. Tabor Park and Forrest Park).
- The City should invest now in purchasing
land for new parks and greenspaces. This land
will only become scarcer and less affordable
as the city grows.
- In the future, more people will live in
condominiums and apartments; it will therefore
be even more important to have many parks
and common open spaces.
- Some people feel that future parks and open
spaces (such as along the waterfront) can
be integrated with commercial/restaurant spaces
as is frequently done in Europe.
our green infrastructure as important
as the streets, water, and other infrastructure
elements. Provide adequate funding for
our parks, as well as all the other infrastructure
I would like to see a vast park covering
underutilized freeway areas…in this park
we could have perhaps the finest outdoor
sculpture gardens for any metropolitan
city in the US. The building of these
gardens could be funded by developers
of condo and apartment buildings along
the perimeter of these 'park' areas…Imagine
being able to bike from 82nd Ave. to the
Lloyd District along winding park paths
lined with sculptures.”
- “Harness developers/development
to truly assess and pay for its impact, including
- Implement a sales tax to fund parks;
- Ask businesses and private enterprise to
contribute funds for parks;
- Create paid parking spots around parks,
either in a lot or along the street. This
will encourage walking/cycling and will raise
funds for parks.
- Ask for realistic financing: Be honest
about how much funding we need to provide
the services we value most like parks. Reduce
funding for other programs during times of
recession, but keep funding strong for core
- Put a Trails Bond Measure on the ballot
for people to vote on.
accessible are Portland’s parks and open spaces?
Many people are impressed with how easily accessible
parks and open spaces are. Respondents speak of being
able to access parks easily from work as well as from their
places of residence.
Others, however, feel that accessibility could
be significantly improved, especially for people
with disabilities, children and residents of low-income
and minority communities. There are requests for
more playgrounds, more available restrooms (clean,
safe and open), more fountains for children to play
in, and more recreational programs that are inclusive
of those with disabilities. People also want to
see access to parks improve in predominantly low-income
and minority communities, some of which are currently
lacking parks or lacking nice, well-maintained parks
with good amenities and programs.
safe and clean are the city's parks?
differ over whether or not Portland’s parks are safe or clean enough. A
large number of people say they feel safe in their parks, but others
speak of feeling unsafe. Of those with concerns, some do not feel
comfortable taking their children to certain parks or open spaces
because they are afraid of the types of unsafe or uncomfortable
activities they will encounter there, such as gang violence, people
experiencing homelessness living in parks and drug dealing (some
complain about used needles littering park grounds). Opinions also
differ as to the cleanliness of parks. Many praise their cleanliness
while a smaller group feels that they could be cleaner.
our parks for families and hard-working individuals
from the drifters, druggies, gang-type people
inhabiting some of the them.”