July 1, 2021
Contact: Shawn Uhlman, Prosper Portland, 503-823-7994

New community spaces encourage safe socializing in Portland’s Central City

Prosper Portland is sponsoring two outdoor plazas this summer to bring attention to the array of experiences available in Portland’s Central City, including sales tax-free shopping, museums and other cultural institutions, eating from the plethora of food trucks and visiting nearby parks. The plazas, featuring community-inspired street murals, serve as a reminder of the city’s unique attributes and appeal to a range of communities – foodies, families, outdoor enthusiasts/runners/cyclists, visitors and locals. Participants are encouraged to walk, bike, scooter, skate and roll to the activated sites.

North Park Blocks Plaza, on NW Park between Davis and Flanders in Old Town, features street painting, furnishings and a series of markets and cultural events, including the open-air My People’s Market which will take place Friday-Sunday, August 6-8.

Tilikum Plaza, at SE Second Place near OMSI and the Tilikum Bridge, also features public seating, street mural and background music, weekend Rose City Rollers Skate Mobile events, and local vendors, with pop-up events hosted by nearby Portland Opera and other community organizations.  It will host the Indigenous Marketplace on multiple dates this summer.

The plazas, which opened in early June, focus on four key goals:

1) Showcase the current landscape of Portland as welcoming and safe.

2) Support small business, focusing on BIPOC-owned businesses.

3) Promote access to outdoor recreation to all Portland residents and visitors.

4) Bring people back to the central city and support business.

Prosper Portland partnered with project manager Michelle Comer of Vida En Color and organizations across the city to create the plazas, curate programming and help get the Central City back on track as the thriving heart of the city.  The team worked intentionally with local artists of color to design the street murals; Hampton Rodriguez and Loraine Yow designed the murals for North Park Blocks and Tilikum Plaza respectively. Plaza visitors are encouraged to discover and shop at nearby BIPOC-owned businesses.

The plazas are part of a citywide effort and Portland Bureau of Transportation’s “Get Outside to Get Going” campaign to connect communities and support economic recovery and reinvestment.

Prosper Portland executive director Kimberly Branam said, “We’ve been delighted to see the community embrace these new public spaces and make them their own. North Park Blocks and Tilikum Plaza join an array of plazas throughout the city, from Dream Street in NE Portland to Pride Plaza on SW 12th and Harvey Milk Street, all designed for the enjoyment of the community. We’re grateful for the collaboration of Portland Bureau of Transportation and many community organizations to make these spaces safe, lively and welcoming to residents and visitors alike.”

For more details about the plazas and nearby businesses, visit https://shopsmallpdx.com/portland-plazas.