Gateway Discovery Park

Project Title: Gateway Discovery Park
Landscape Architect: PLACE
Category: General Design, Public Ownership
Award: Award of Merit
Location: Portland, OR

For six decades, East Portland’s community has desired a public gathering space to cherish and enjoy in the heart of the neighborhood - the Gateway Discovery Park. The 3.2-acre signature park serves over 800 households previously lacking access to open space. To generate a positive long-term community transformation where 36% of households identify as ethnic minorities and 28% experiencing poverty, the design team embraced the process of building strong partnerships with neighbors, local businesses, and community groups. With over 70 different languages spoken in the area, art was used as the communication tool for public engagement. In the spirit of adventure, the flexible lawn, interactive plaza water feature, skate-dot, and a universally accessible play area complement the nature-inspired habitats for children to explore. The park has become a catalyst for future redevelopments holding a promise of a second downtown on Portland’s eastern edge. Completed prior to COVID-19, the highly anticipated “living room” is a safe, walkable, culturally-vibrant and family-friendly regional open space; a daily oasis of hope as a counter to mental fatigue during a pandemic.

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