Blog

Can Skyscrapers Save the City?

Harvard economist Edward Glaeser’s new book Triumph of the City provides interesting observations and insights into the workings of cities, but the book’s most notable (and controversial) argument is that regulatory constraints limiting building height and preserving historic districts have crippled cities in terms of their ability to provide affordable housing. An entire chapter of the […]

Tim Smith talks Civic Ecology at TEDx

Tim Smith, Principal and Director of Urban Design + Planning at SERA, was honored to speak at the recent TEDx event held at Portland’s Concordia University. Click below to view his presentation. In the ever-important (yet increasingly cluttered!) conversation about “sustainability,” what are the key innovations that are showing us the way forward? Are more […]

Walking with Walgreens vs. Walking to Walgreens

Efforts by American corporations to leverage social programs have been on the uptick in recent years. One of the more recent initiatives is by Walgreens, the Illinois-based drug store chain that has over 7,500 stores in the U.S. Walgreens has implemented a new rewards program to encourage customers to integrate more exercise – specifically, walking […]

What We’re Reading – July 2011

Ideas flow freely here in SERA’s Urban Design + Planning studio, and it’s the constant sharing of perspectives that contributes to the fun we have in the office. From time to time we’re going to produce a compilation of some of these articles & websites that have piqued our collective interest and pass them on […]

Portland’s Creative Class Slump

Aaron Renn recently reposted on Urbanophile a column he wrote last year for the Oregonian discussing whether or not the hype surrounding Portland is justified (he argues that it is). While it’s unquestionable that Portland has been a trailblazer (no pun intended) in the urban renaissance movement we now see taking root in cities across […]

Ground Broken: Celebrating Portland’s (Soon-to-Be) Orange Line

It’s been 25 years since Portland’s first MAX light rail line opened, and every segment built since has faced its own challenges and triumphs. Yesterday presented us with another celebratory moment, as lawmakers, deal-makers, engineers, and activists gathered to officially break ground on the latest piece of the network – a line that will stretch […]

Are Parking Benefit Districts in Portland’s Future?

It’s no secret that we are pretty passionate about smart urban growth over here at SERA, particularly when it comes to how a city’s transportation network affects its inhabitants. That’s why we perked up when we saw the recent headline in The Oregonian regarding a potential “parking benefit district” around Portland State University. There seems […]

A Visit to The High Line

On a recent trip to New York City, I made time to visit the High Line – a postindustrial rail line that was recently re-invented (2009) as a place of urban wild. This elevated rail originally served as a way to transport goods from the Hudson River railyards into the Meatpacking District above the congestion […]

Civic Ecology – Damascus Style!

On Saturday 12 February 2011, the City of Damascus (Oregon) hosted the first of its two Civic Ecology Workshops at Damascus City Hall. The workshop was facilitated by staff from SERA Architects and CH2M HILL as part of on-going sustainability planning efforts for the City. The premise behind Civic Ecology is that attaining sustainability requires […]

WOU Master Plan

Founded in 1856, Western Oregon University is Oregon’s oldest public university. Located in Monmouth, WOU offers a variety of academic and athletic programs; it has experienced a steady increase in both undergraduate and graduate student populations over the past five years. SERA’s Gregg Sanders, Eric Ridenour, and Anneliese Sitterly teamed up to provide the University with […]