As the City of Portland continues to grow and change, PSA knows there are topics that will shape our City in both the quality of place and the policies that inform the future of our city. This is your place to learn what PSA is thinking and talking about related to architecture, design and our great city.

Helping Portland Build Better.

The Advocacy Committee of the PSA is part of the fulfillment of this mission. The Committee is comprised of architects, landscape architects, engineers, builders, developers, preservationists, and community members who have volunteered their time, views, and individual expertise. The Committee reviews rules, ordinances, and initiatives on the subjects of zoning, housing, transportation, open space, aesthetics, and building performance with the intention of forwarding the common good in Portland; our growing and changing city. The Committee is available as a resource to the public, civic leadership, and the private sector on the quality and value of good urban design and architecture in Portland.

PSA’s Principles of Design

The committee has adopted the following principles to promote excellence in urban design and architecture and to evaluate projects and policies that effect the built environment.

  • Architecture – The proposal exhibits beauty, utility, and soundness and adds to the enjoyment of life in Portland.
  • Creativity – The proposal is imaginative and innovative.
  • Site – The proposal is responsive to and enhances its location.
  • Neighborhood – The proposal enhances the characteristics of its immediate community.
  • Sidewalks & Streets – The proposal improved the walking experience and provides transit options.
  • Public Benefit – The proposal promotes responsible stewardship of public resources and spaces.
  • Sustainability – The proposal respects, restores and enhances natural and social systems.
  • Fairness – The proposal is reviewed in a transparent and predictable process.

To view the Principles in a printable PDF, click here.

Ongoing Topics

PSA initiated and continues the community discussion on the future effects of climate change on our infrastructure and buildings. Our series of public lectures raise awareness and have resulted in adoption of climate change policy by the City of Portland.

To read a summary of our sustainability initiative, read our leaflet.

Waterfront Visions: Executive Summary of Portland Flood Vulnerability

Our architectural history defines Portland as a special place. Designating historic districts appropriately and judiciously can promote economic vitality and quality of place, however, preservation regulations must not discourage contemporary design that may become our landmarks of the future.

PSA recognizes the need for affordable housing in our community and supports projects and policies that encourage housing development. A growing and diverse housing stock is important to Portland’s vitality and economic well-being.

Housing Chat Details with Jonathan Culley and Richard Berman.

PSA engages in community efforts to reverse the damage done to our urban fabric by the urban renewal of the 1970’s.

The Advocacy Committee initiated and guided the community effort that has resulted in the plans to improve Spring Street beginning with the removal of the “jersey barriers”. Click here to read more.

For a summary of PSA’s success for Spring Street, read our leaflet.

PSA works cooperatively with Portland Planning staff to improve zoning regulations and has provided input on important revisions that simplify process and benefit design.

Our Board and Advocacy is consulting with planning staff and testifying at the Planning Board on a form based code proposal for the India Street neighborhood. Click here to read our position

Top Image: “Thomas Block” by Corey Templeton is licensed under CC BY 2.0