Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bike+Ped Planning in the Provincial Village of Portland, Oregon.

Caroline and I gave a big presentation about bicycle and pedestrian planning today.  Promotional posters were distributed, e-mails were sent, and most of CAUPD Shenzhen was there.  It went really well and there was a lot of great discussion.  We showed a short video about Portland!  Also, Jolly Ranchers candy was distributed.

We got to present in the main conference room/salsa studio on the top floor of our building. They even gave us microphones just like the ones they use in NBA post-game interviews.

We talked, among other things, about the Mt. Hood Freeway, bioswales, bicycle boulevards, 20-minute neighborhoods, and complete streets.  We conducted spot surveys on mode choice (only one SOV commuter, impressive!), and tried to figure out who in our audience was a "strong and fearless" bike rider and who was more of the "interested but concerned" type.

Comparisons were made between Shenzhen's bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and our own. There are a lot of great cycle tracks, but sometimes sidewalks double as parking spaces. Maybe they take the term multi-use path more literally than we do?


Sara said...

Alex - that's great you and caroline covered so many topics about Portland and the ideas / concepts that our city is working towards achieving... if you have time though - it'd be great to hear what their thoughts on the city were? what did they think about green st. stormwater facilities? 20 min. neighborhood concepts? etc. nice video by the way...glad to see you resisted putting a bird on it.

Andrew Parish said...

Ali and I made a similar presentation (pictures, etc. to come), so I can share some of the discussion we had.

First, the scale of Shenzhen might make the planning practices of our little river town seem, well, silly. Shenzhen needs a Real Transportation System for a Real City, after all.

I was going to say that the 20 minute neighborhood doesn't really apply here because the density virtually guarantees proximity to a variety of uses, but it occurs to me that I may live in a particularly rich and fine-grained part of town. The wealthier area that Caroline and Alex live in seems to have greater expanses of residential-only towers (though I'm sure they offer recreation and other amenities).

Compact, transit-oriented development isn't a cutting-edge strategy here, it's more of a necessity. Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and probably other Chinese cities as well, have something akin to an Urban Growth Boundary that leaves about half of the city as open space. The city can only annex a certain amount of open space to grow each year. This is why it's sometimes easier to make new islands, as waterways are less regulated.

Due to the recent flooding in Beijing, there is a great interest in 'green' stormwater facilities. Given the style of parks here - straying off the paved path into the manicured greenery is discouraged - I believe there are great opportunities for LID in Shenzhen. But the sheer number and scale of stormwater facilities needed to make any dent in this city's runoff is pretty daunting, and I don't know anything about the local soils or hydrology.

And they all loved Waterfront Park.

Raymond said...

Keep the posts coming you guys, it is so fun to follow your Chinese experience!

Raymond said...

Oh, this is Mark by the way, I'm not sure why I am posting as my dog, that is a little disturbing.

Unknown said...

This seems like really awesome and important work. Keep it up!

Post a Comment