Emily, a 24-year-old Portland State graduate
student, leaves her home in Outer East Portland
a little after 8:00 AM. She bought her condo,
situated along the new MAX line, because it
offered a fast and easy way to get downtown,
but also had entertainment, stores and restaurants
within walking and biking distance. She takes
the train downtown with her bike, and after
class, heads over to Forest Park for some
hiking with her friend before visiting her
grandmother, Carol, in the King neighborhood.
Though getting older, Carol will be able
to remain in her home for years to come because
it was designed to allow people of all abilities
to use it, with few stairs, easy-to-turn knobs,
wide doorways and more. Many public buildings
have been similarly redesigned to be more
accessible to people with disabilities and
Unlike Emily, Carol tends to drive most places
– she’s unable to bike and prefers the independence
of the car to the bus. Even though the city
of Portland now has several hundred thousand
more people than it did decades ago, the roads
are still wellmaintained, and Carol has little
problem getting around the city in her carbon-neutral
Today, though, Carol and Emily walk to a
local community center for a gardening workshop.
Emily just reserved a spot at one of Portland’s
many community gardens, and Carol, with her
big backyard garden, is helping her granddaughter
learn the ropes.
After the workshop, Emily joins a friend
for a late supper near home at one of Portland’s
many delicious restaurants, where they run
into some folks they know from the neighborhood.
Emily is reminded of how small Portland still
feels, despite all the recent growth, and
is happy that the city has been able to maintain
that community feeling.