Structure of a Good Neighborhood, 1965

This slide from 1965 was mixed in my collection and provides a humorous, if depressing, notion of what Portland city planners once thought constituted the “ideal” neighborhood. Not particularly innovative, this concept built around traffic management was already quite old by this point and thankfully never fully realized in Portland proper.

There is a fair bit of this in East Portland and I would wager, the defining reason why most people would prefer not to live there. For being designed completely post-auto, the area is striking hard to travel by car  or otherwise. Though it wouldn’t be annexed by Portland until the 1980s and was not the hand of Portland city planning, plenty of these super blocks were created from the 1950s-1970s. The ramifications of this development pattern we are only now beginning to grapple with and the permanently depressed housing prices will leave a legacy for many generations to come.




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