Blog

SERA Portland Postcard Project

by | January 16, 2014 0 SERA General

SERA’s Portland Postcard Project is an experiment in storytelling and placemaking, inspired by the Neighborhood Postcard Project. These postcards will help us understand what makes Portland, Portland. Fill a blank postcard with a drawing, photograph or simply your story. Be sure to check back here frequently, we will be posting a collection of our favorites. […]

Civic Ecology: A Citizen-Driven Framework for Suburban Communities

by | December 9, 2013 0 Innovations, Urban Design + Planning

This paper was presented by Tim Smith at the 50th International Making Cities Livable Conference on June 26, 2013 at The Governor Hotel  in Portland, Oregon. Tim was also interviewed as part of this conference on Citizen Engagement via Civic Ecology. Reshaping suburbia suggests a shift toward mixed use, green buildings, complete streets, densification and […]

Love in Sustainable Design

I’ve been passionate about good design and inspiring places most of my life.  Over those years and the centuries before, styles and fads have come and gone, ideas about what good design is, and ways of building things have all shifted significantly.  Without delving too deeply into the reasons, it seems fairly safe to say […]

Civic Ecology: A Citizen-Driven Framework for Suburban Communities

by | July 18, 2013 2 Urban Design + Planning

Reshaping suburbia suggests a shift toward mixed use, green buildings, complete streets, densification and transit oriented development… in other words, greener, more efficient forms of suburban “hardware.” While these strategies may lead towards greater efficiency, transformative change will require deeper intervention beyond re-forming and efficiency. Suburban areas must be re-imagined as whole communities animated by […]

The Dollars and Sense of Green Design: A Hospitality Study

At SERA, our work in the hospitality industry focuses on blending design, guest comfort, operational efficiency, and sustainable initiatives. About two years ago, I was talking to someone from a major hotel brand, who thought that green Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment (FF&E) added an extra 10% to the costs of a hotel refresh project. My […]

The Challenge of the Creative Class – A Follow Up

by | April 3, 2013 5 SERA General, Urban Design + Planning

In 2011, we wrote about Portland’s Creative Class slump, noting that, despite being generally regarded as one of the country’s preeminent “creative class” cities, Portland has failed to translate its reputation for livability into real economic gains. Given the city’s persistent struggles with unemployment, underemployment, and low wages (despite attracting artists, designers, intellectuals, hipsters, and […]

Celebrate Lafayette: Young SERA Designers Win Competition

Occasionally, a group of emerging designers here at SERA will pool their talents and take on an independent design challenge. Such was the case when Krystan Menne, Kristin Slavin, and Jodi Hanson heard about the “[Imagine Downtown] Lafayette, LA” open-ideas competition a few months ago. Not only did this interdisciplinary team of designers dive into this […]