Award-Winning Student Projects in PDXScholar

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Student Urban Planning Projects Online

Portland State University Library’s digital collection of student-created urban planning projects is continuing to grow in size and popularity. This collection of projects is the result of a collaboration between the PSU Library and the Dirce Moroni Toulan Library of Urban and Public Affairs. These projects, created for both public- and private-sector clients, are the culminating works of Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) student teams.

MURP planning projects are available through the PSU Library’s PDXScholar platform. The Library has digitized 151 contemporary and historic projects ranging from 1977 to 2016.  Additionally, 17 newly digitized planning projects have been added to the collection. As of this writing, researchers across the globe have downloaded over 13,000 MURP Workshop Projects to study innovative urban plans.

Award-Winning Student Projects

Image with caption: "The Night Access Plan lays out a strategy to make getting to and from OHSU at night and early in the morning safer, more convenient, and affordable"
Night Access Plan (2016)

MURP planning projects evaluate current urban plans and develop alternative plans, as well as recommended courses of action. The projects are problem-centered and geographically-focused, and they also incorporate innovative public involvement efforts.

These projects have made major contributions to their clients, and have influenced the practice of planning locally and regionally. State and national award-winning projects  provide creative and practical solutions to everyday problems. MURP projects have received national recognition. They provide context and a lasting impact on urban planning issues that still affect Portland today.

Projects with Lasting Influence

Figures 5.4 and 5.5 show view of street before and after
The Value of Place: Planning for Walkability in the Tigard Triangle (2016)

Many urban issues faced by people in the Portland metropolitan area are long-term problems. Researchers can examine older MURP projects to look at trends related to specific issues. Additionally, these historic projects give insight into changes that resulted from the projects.

The Lents Gateway proposal looks at a community that was divided by the I-205 highway. The original proposal gives background information into a community that seeks to repair damage by urban planning. This proposal from 1996 has had a lasting impact on planning in Lents. More recent Portland development and urban renewal plans seek not only to repair, but also to further grow the neighborhood. There are now plans to also connect the neighborhood with light rail and rapid transit. Additionally, it provided growing opportunities for small business development and jobs.

A low-income housing project examined ways to improve housing for Native Americans in Portland. This project looked at research on communities and demographics to provide information for a community group and to plan for solutions. This planning project researched short-term needs like rental units and housing, as well as long-term goals like economic development and community building. Finally, this historic study provides a broader context into the current low-income housing shortage that persists in Portland today.

About MURP and PDXScholar

The Master of Urban and Regional Planning is a two-year, 72 credit professional degree program designed for those interested in working as professional planners. The curriculum includes a 46-credit core that focuses on the history and theory of planning as a field, plan implementation, analytical methods (including Geographic Information Systems [GIS]), and the dynamics of metropolitan development.

PDXScholar, a service of Portland State University Library, provides open access to a diverse collection of academic, scholarly, scientific, and creative content produced by faculty, students, and staff. PDXScholar increases the visibility of authors’ works, maximizes research impact, facilitates interdisciplinary research. It also provides regional and global communities with immediate and permanent access.