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Architecture & Design | June 24th, 2020

Architecture, Green Design, and Housing for Everyone

Isn't cycling the best way to see the built environment, anyway? Sponsored by fans of architecture, green design, and housing advocates represented by "Portland: Neighbors Welcome," this day is all about appreciating and understanding buildings. This is your chance to look at Portland neighborhoods through the lens of an architecture nerd while fostering conversations about design, resilience, inequity, sustainability, and the overall need for more affordable housing in the metro area.

Racism in the Built Environment

As American cities boomed in the first half of the 1900's, so too did racist land use and zoning policies that kept communities of color segregated and ultimately placed them at a disadvantage when they tried to buy homes or move into different neighborhoods. Known as "redlining", this practice by white city planners of literally drawing a red line around Black neighborhoods resulted in lower home values and disparities in access to credit; these policies placed BIPOC communities at a disadvantage for decades. In fact, a recently published Redfin study confirms that homeowners in redlined neighborhoods have earned 52% less in home equity than those in greenlined areas over the last 40 years. As you embark on your journey around Portland's built environment by bike, remember that Oregon began as a whites-only state, and know that Portland was also shaped by racist land use policies, which we are struggling to fix to this day.

Housing for Everyone

You probably know that Portland has a housing shortage but did you know that there are many different housing types that could help us fill the gap? Portland: Neighbors Welcome advocates for "missing middle" housing including triplexes, cottage clusters, ADUs, and even tiny homes on wheels, amongst other innovative dwelling types, to help solve our housing emergency. Consider how diverse housing types could help fill the housing gap throughout Portland - including in neighborhoods that were historically disadvantaged by racist land use policies - and share photos of each unique housing type you come across with our day's hashtags (see below) on your social media platform of choice.

Scavenger Hunt for Buildings

Get on your bike and search for buildings of all types, including:

  • What's your favorite piece of architecture in the city? Check out last year's AIA Portland Architecture Awards for inspiration

  • What's the greenest, most sustainable building you can find? This handy database of LEED Platinum buildings in Oregon is a great starter list

  • What's the weirdest building you can find?

  • What's your favorite building designed by BIPOC architects? By female architects?

  • Which building is your candidate for ugliest building in Portland?!

Dress Like Your Favorite Building

Recognition will be given to bikers who dress up as their favorite building or house, found in Portland or anywhere in the world. Major props will also be given to any cyclist who captures a photo of the ride organizer dressed as the Most Famous House in America.

(These folks from the 1931 Beaux Arts Ball know what's up -->)

Design a Building with Strava

If you are SUPER into Architecture Day, why not take it to the next level and design a building using Strava? Here's a starter guide to creating GPS art, and here's some recent inspiration from runners using Strava. Remember to tag your artwork on social and identify your building, if it's a drawing of an existing building or an original creation. The cyclist with the best Strava-drawn building will receive a FREE homemade architecture-themed face mask!

Today's hashtags: #PedalpaloozaPDX #ArchitectureAndDesign #pdxarchitecture #designbybike #ihearthousing

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