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Completed in 2003, the Orenco Station neighborhood of Hillsboro, Oregon, a suburb of Portland, remains a shining example of neighborhood transformation from suburban sprawl into a pedestrian-friendly, high-density, mixed-use, transit-oriented community.
Prior to its redevelopment, the Orenco Station neighborhood was a nursery that closed its doors in 1938. The land sat vacant for decades until the 1990s when TriMet—Portland’s Light Rail system—extended its services to the Orenco Station neighborhood.
Planning for the redesign of the Orenco neighborhood of Hillsboro began in 1994 and led by Alpha Engineering, Fletcher Farr Ayotte and Iverson Associates, and Walker Mac. In their design preparations, the team took a novel approach in several ways. First, they studied historic, traditional architecture of the region to evoke a connection to the past through their modern redevelopment.
Next, the team met with city planners from the City of Hillsboro in a collaborative effort to rewrite the site’s zoning code and incorporate many New Urban principles. The new zoning ordinance allows for innovative changes including narrow streets (at a maximum width of twenty feet), maximum street setbacks of nineteen feet, side yard easements, granny flat accessory dwellings, live/work homes, and garages located in the rear of properties. The zoning ordinance also permits mixed-use development within the neighborhood. Together, these changes create a pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented, and dense environment.
Orenco Station stands as a transit-oriented development featuring 1,800 homes, a Town Center, offices, retail options, and nearby employment on 209 acres. Developed by Pacific Realty Associates, L.P. and Costa Pacific Homes, Orenco Station’s residential options include apartments, single-family dwellings, condominiums, and townhomes. The Orenco Station neighborhood is structured around the TriMet Light Rail station. The station leads to pedestrian spine that extends north through the Town Center, and townhomes, culminating in a Central Park at the north end of the neighborhood. The pedestrian spine is surrounded by a grid of walkable streets throughout the neighborhood.
Orenco Station, a case-study of transit-oriented, walkable, New Urbanist developments, has won numerous awards including the 1998 Oregon Governor’s Livability Award, the 1998 Best Masterplanned Community in America Award by the National Association of Home Builders, and the 1999 AIA/ULI/FTA/STPP Transit Communities Livable Design Award.
Micro Lofts at the Arcade Providence #thisisCNU
Providence, Rhode Island
One of the nation’s most beautiful historic shopping arcades was restored as 48 affordable micro-lofts, rents starting at $550 per month, and 17 small retail spaces in Providence, Rhode Island.
In Karlstad, Sweden, a large block overlooking the main square was gutted by a fire. Redevelopment in this historic town center required cultural sensitivity and innovative thinking.
Curridabat, Costa Rica
The first city in Costa Rica to adopt form-based coding has created a citywide plan to connect urban neighborhoods to nature. Sweet City is the next phase of a Charter Award-winning plan of 2014.