Crowd-Funding a New Public Space in Portland

The state of Oregon is testing a new type of public-private partnership in Portland, where advocates and electeds want to transform a parcel of land into a new park and greenway.

Gateway Green is a proposed 38-acre park, with off-road bike and hiking trails, to be developed between two freeways on the former site of a jail. Jonathan Maus at Bike Portland reports:

Oregon Solutions, the governor-appointed body that is working to move the project forward, has decided to use crowdfunding site Indiegogo for the fundraising effort. The campaign will launch this Thursday, September 5th. Their goal will be $100,000 and the campaign is just as much about marketing and momentum building as it is about cold, hard cash. Oregon Solutions Project Manager Jim Jacks tells us they’re counting on a big response to the campaign in order to “Build a reservoir of support to get the thing built over time.”

The money raised online will be used for planning — construction of the park itself will take millions, which backers hope to attain through government or foundation grants. The city has agreed to handle operations if the park is built.

Judging by comments from Bike Portland readers, not everyone is onboard, for various reasons. The merits of Gateway Green notwithstanding, what struck me was whether the online fundraising component might set a precedent for determining the “worthiness” of future public space projects. What say you?

Also on the Network today: Greater Greater Washington calls out zoning commissioners for hating on single urbanites; via Cyclelicious, police in Santa Cruz are serious about recovering stolen bikes; and Twin City Sidewalks pens an ode to street trees.