Young Planning Professionals’ Workshop, Portland, Oregon, October 2017

Portland OR, USA, 20-23 October 2017

Regional Investments for Smart Communities: Harnessing Transit + Technology to strengthen the Economy and connect the McLoughlin Corridor

Deadline for applications has passed.

Please see the“McLoughlin Corridor” project website at


Since 1991 ISOCARP has organized – along with the annual congress – the Young Planning Professionals’ workshop, intended to stimulate the professional interests and the development of planning skills of the youngest members of the planners’ family. According to this tradition, the YPP workshop will be offered again during the 53rd ISOCARP congress that is to be held in Portland, OR, USA. The workshop itself will take place between 20 and 23 October, and the final presentation will be scheduled during one of the congress sessions. The workshop will be organized in partnership with Oregon Chapter, American Planning Association, Portland Metro Government as well as University of Oregon.

The workshop aims to provide young planners responsible for or participating in the shaping and development of urban structures, with the principles and practices of effective contemporary urbanism and practical knowledge that will be of immediate use to each participant.

The objective of the workshop is to provide the workshop participants with hands-on practical experiences. YPPs work in a studio setting under the guidance of two international experts from among the members of ISOCARP, accompanied by the local tutors and lecturers. The project site was chosen jointly by ISOCARP and the Local Organizing Committee.

The theme of the workshop reflects the general congress theme and will be further adjusted in the course of the workshop preparations.

The Portland Metropolitan Area is at present populated by 1.5 million people who live in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties and 25 cities. Policies guiding growth and investment within this area are developed by Metro, the regional government, which provides planning and other services that protect the nature and livability of the region. Its long range vision, identified in the 2040 Growth Concept, calls for compact urban form, with new development focused in existing urbanized areas. As the Portland region grows, many of the issues that larger cities have been experiencing—such as affordable housing, community and business displacement, and inclusive growth— are rising to the forefront of public concern. Project partners aim to address these concerns by working with the community to ensure that major public investments in transit, transportation innovations, and other forms of infrastructure such as technology and communications investments are leveraged in a way that supports community development objectives, addresses existing inequities, and reduces associated impacts and risks of reduced affordability and displacement due to increased land values.

As one of Metro’s identified Investment Areas, the McLoughlin Corridor is one of the places at risk to development pressures and increased regional growth.  McLoughlin Boulevard is one of the region’s most important thoroughfares that serves as an artery of commerce and it connects Portland to five cities in Clackamas County (Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Jennings Lodge, Gladstone, and Oregon City). The MAX Orange Line light rail recently began operation in the northern end of the corridor, terminating at SE Park Ave Station Area in an area with redevelopment opportunities within the City of Milwaukie. Numerous planning efforts have been finalized for large stretches south of the line in the last 5-10 years, but more work will be needed. The corridor has inherited multiple vacant properties that once served as major industrial operations, gas stations, auto repair shops, and other businesses that used petroleum-related chemicals with real or perceived brownfield contamination that inhibits their development potential. Metro partnered with Clackamas County and Oregon City on an EPA Brownfield Coalition Assessment Grant for the area, and has already started the process of identifying sites for assessment and future remediation.  The State and Region have also invested in the Willamette Falls Legacy Project; a public vision and master plan with the goal of transforming a 23-acre, abandoned paper mill on the banks of the Willamette River in historic Oregon City. Willamette Falls is the 2nd largest waterfall by volume in North America, the end of the Oregon Trail, and an historic fishery for Native Americans. Final designs are complete for a new Riverwalk that provides Oregonians and visitors with the opportunity to rediscover this cultural and scenic treasure for the first time in 150 years.

Of particular interest to the regional government, is how future transit connections/extensions and infrastructure investments may leverage the many opportunity sites along this corridor. The Metro Regional Framework Plan calls for all Regional Centers to be connected to the High Capacity Transit (HCT) system as part of the implementation of the 2040 Growth Concept. Oregon City is one of the last designated Regional Centers in the 2040 Growth Concept that is not accessible by HCT.

Therefore, starting at Park Avenue Station and along the Orange Line MAX, the Young Planning Professionals team will be exploring:

  • what HCT could mean for the corridor and the unique communities that exist along it?
  • what other investments should be made to support the multiple proposals underway in the corridor?
  • How do we harness transit and other investments to strengthen and connect this corridor in support of regional objectives for equitable development?
  • What are the market realities behind these visions and what is the corridor’s true potential?

Opportunity sites can be found at many locations, but of particular interest to Metro and local partners are the following:

  • Park Avenue Station – the location is a fantastic opportunity to think through the right type of Transit-Oriented Development that would enhance the surrounding community and bring vitality to the end of the MAX line
  • Willamette Falls site – with the recent release of Phase I of the Riverwalk design effort, there is a real opportunity to explore the connection between Downtown Oregon City and the future public access
  • North Milwaukie Industrial Area – with a recently completed plan for the area, several opportunity sites exist to explore local and regional employment needs.

Within the framework of the workshop, the Young Planning Professionals – coming from places with different planning cultures and backgrounds – will be asked to investigate the future of these three sites. The group will be subdivided into teams, each working on one of the above mentioned areas. The main task of each of those will be to investigate how the spatial structure of the selected sites may be shaped, taking into account Metro’s plans and policies, contemporary concepts of sustainable and smart urbanism, as well as to what extend the economic development potential of these may be utilized in line with community expectations. The teams of Young Planners will be guided by three tutors – two of them coming from abroad and one representing the local planning community. At the same time the works of the YPPs will be supported by the group of University of Oregon students, who shall elaborate on the in-depth analysis of the sites characteristics and potentials as well as providing “local point of view” on the opportunities and threats to the future development of the predefined sites.

The workshop is targeted at young professionals, up to 35 years old. They come from various backgrounds such as architecture, civil engineering, spatial science technology and real estate management.


Each participant will spend 3 full days working with the YPP group. The time of the final presentation of the workshop results is intended for one of the congress sessions; the specific date of this is still to be decided. Before and after, there may be a necessity of conducting meetings with local hosts and press.  Therefore, all participants should arrive on 20 October in the early afternoon at the latest and depart not earlier than 28 October in the morning – after the congress concludes.

The cost of modest accommodation (shared twin rooms) and meals during the workshop as well as local transportation during the workshop will be covered by the organizers. ISOCARP will not be able to provide any assistance with respect to travel expenses. The selected workshop participants will be asked to arrange the trip on their own.
Participants are also welcome to stay in United States longer than 28 October and to participate in the other congress activities as well as in the post-congress tour, however, on their own cost.

Selected workshop participants will be asked to arrange the international trip on their own.

Please discuss your travel plans in advance with VP YPP Piotr Lorens.
Kindly note that each YPP Workshop participant has to pay the (reduced) congress fee.
Please note that ISOCARP cannot waive the congress fee for workshop participants. 



Issue of Call 6 July 2017
Deadline – Reception of applications  30 July 2017
Communication of Selection Results 7 August 2017
Confirmation by selected Candidates 14 August 2017 at the latest
Travel arrangements/procedures between 20 and 30 August 2017
Arrival to Portland 20 October 2017
Departure 28 October 2017

The call for international workshop participants is open to YOUNG PLANNING PROFESSIONALS. Candidates should have some basic planning skills. Successful candidates should have a background in planning, urban design, social sciences, real estate and/or regional economics, geography, or architectural studies. It is required that the candidates not older than 35 years old.

Kindly send the following documents via the application form until 30 July:

  1. Appplication Form
  2. Curriculum Vitae in accordance to ISOCARP CV standard format – Template
  3. Recommendation Letter (drafted/signed by an ISOCARP member, your employer or by your university professor) 

Please send as follows:
Family Name_CV
Family Name_Recommendation


An evaluation and final selection of candidates will be done by a Selection Committee formed by Piotr Lorens, ISOCARP YPP VP, as well as selected coordinators.  Selected Candidates will be informed of their selection, after which they will have to confirm their availability and participation to the ISOCARP Head Office. Participation documents will be sent to them shortly afterwards. Travel procedures (incl. visa if applicable) will start immediately after selection process has been completed.

Any questions during these procedures should be sent to the ISOCARP Head Office: Phone: +31-70 346-2654.
Any questions regarding the topic, on-site logistics and travel arrangement should be sent to VP YPP, Piotr Lorens:,, Phone: +48 605 433 885.

Call YPP Portland in pdf

Call for Coordinators – YPP Workshop Portland, October 2017

The selection has been made.

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