This project explores how the Living Community Challenge can be used as a tool by existing residential neighborhoods to not only maximize the social and environmental benefits of community redevelopment, but also address some of the inherent challenges: maintaining affordability for existing residents, guarding against gentrification, and minimizing the displacement of homes, businesses, and institutions. The site is the Emerson Street Community, an 80-acre section of dense residential development in Northeast Portland’s former, historically African-American, Albina neighborhood, with one of the most racially, culturally, and socio-economically diverse populations in the city. The project team – includes all community residents, community-based artists, Oregon Benefits Companies, local non-profits and allied professionals — sees synergies in promoting energy efficiency, building resilient infrastructure, and activating resident owners and tenants to strengthening neighborhood relationships and create a restorative and sustainable live-work community.

All images courtesy of Julie Keefe

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