Quebec to Portland: Vivre en Ville!

Last week, First Stop hosted members of an NGO from Quebec, Canada, called Vivre en Ville, whose focus is on smart growth, urban development, rural villages and urban livability. Their mission includes "stimulating innovation" across scales through strategic action. Their organization is engaged in all sorts of advocacy efforts from educating urban planners, to climate action research, mobility demonstration projects, public education campaigns and much more.

While here, they visited a range of sites from the New Urbanist development at Orenco Station, to urban TOD at The Belmont Dairy, to Kailash Eco-Village, a permaculture co-housing community in a renovated 1970s-era housing complex out where SE Holgate meets Cesar Chavez Boulevard.

Vivre en Ville learns about Kailash Ecovillage's "zero landfill" efforts.

They talked with local experts, too, like Linda Dobson, stormwater management expert from Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services; OHSU's development guru Brian Newman; placemaking advocate and City Repair Project co-founder Mark Lakeman; and Central City planning pro, Karl Lisle.

Planner Karl Lisle puts Portland's Central City 2035 Plan in context.

In addition to helping us brush up on our conversational French, we were excited about the tools Vivre en Ville shared with us. Our favorite was their animated film “Saga City,” through which they effectively translate a sophisticated message about urban development patterns and climate change. It is definitely worth watching the full 16 minutes of this awareness-raising short.

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